Johan Ysewyn advises on all aspects of EC, international and Belgian antitrust law, including merger control, compliance, cartel and leniency issues and abuse of dominance cases. He acts as the head of the firm’s EU Competition group, working from our Brussels and London offices.
Mr. Ysewyn’s practice has a strong focus on global and European cartel investigations and he has represented companies from a range of sectors. He is also one of the leading experts on EU state aid issues, working both for beneficiaries and governments.
He regularly speaks at conferences such as GCR, IBC, IBA, Chatham House and other industry events and has written for numerous legal publications. He is recognised as a leading competition lawyer by Chambers, Legal 500 and other leading industry guides. Mr. Ysewyn has acted as a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network (ICN).
On 10 September 2019, Margrethe Vestager was proposed as the European Commissioner for Competition, a post which she has held since November 2014. The appointment is still subject to the confirmation of the European Parliament. Vestager has also been given the role of Executive Vice President, with the mandate of making “Europe Fit for the … Continue Reading
On 5 April 2019, the European Commission (“EC”) published a report – prepared by Europe Economics at the request of DG COMP – on EU loan syndication and its impact on competition in credit markets (the “Report”). The Report describes the functioning of the syndicated loan business and seeks to assess whether there are potential … Continue Reading
On 14 February 2019, the General Court (“GC”) annulled the European Commission’s (“Commission”) decision of 11 January 2016 declaring Belgium’s system of excess profit rulings as an aid scheme incompatible with the Internal Market. The Commission had ordered the Belgian authorities to recover around € 700 million from at least 35 companies that had benefited … Continue Reading
On 19 September 2018, the European Commission (“Commission”) issued a press release declaring that Luxembourg did not provide illegal State aid to McDonald’s with regards to two tax rulings that resulted in double non-taxation of franchise profits in Luxembourg. The Commission’s three-year-long in-depth investigation established that Luxembourg had merely acted in compliance with its national … Continue Reading
Does the General Court’s recent ruling in Goldman Sachs/European Commission provide new guidance on the parent liability of financial investors in cartel cases? Yes and no. Yes, because it shows what will not suffice to avoid parental liability. No, because it is silent as to whether in fact and if so how a financial investor … Continue Reading
Introduction On 11 June 2018, the European Commission (“Commission”) published DG Competition’s 2017 Annual Activity Report (“Report”) to provide an overview of its pursuit of its competition policy objectives and enforcement of EU competition rules in 2017. In its Report, the Commission indicates that it has continued to prioritise competition on the merits and that … Continue Reading
On 13 February 2018, the Spanish Markets and Competition Commission (“CNMC”) fined four major Spanish banks €91 million for colluding to fix the price of interest-rate derivatives (“IRDs”) attached to syndicated loans above market price. The decision is an additional indication that syndicated loans are increasingly coming under the scrutiny of competition authorities, after the … Continue Reading
Introduction In a recent blog post where we reflected on DG Competition fining Altice a record € 124.5m for gun-jumping, we already anticipated the Ernst & Young P/S v Konkurrenceradet judgment where, for the first time, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) provides guidance on the scope of the standstill obligation under the … Continue Reading
Last month’s Commission decision to impose a fine of €124.5 million on Altice for gun jumping is a stark reminder of the need to establish processes to ensure against conduct that can be characterized by the merger control authorities as violating the “hold-separate” obligation of the EU Merger Regulation (“EUMR”). That obligation prohibits parties to … Continue Reading
2017 was another year of active enforcement globally—including in the U.S., despite the start of a new Presidential Administration touting an aggressive deregulatory agenda. Transactions in consolidated industries drew enforcement fire in both Europe and the United States (Dow/DuPont, ChemChina/Syngenta, Bayer/Monsanto, AT&T/Time Warmer). And, in March, the UK government formally started the “Brexit process,” which … Continue Reading
On 22 November, Johan Ysewyn and Maria Jaspers (DG COMP) presented the highlights of recent EU cartel enforcement in their annual dual-presentation at the Advanced EU Competition Law Conference in Brussels. They covered their traditional three pillars of enforcement, policy and court review.… Continue Reading
We are now well past the mid-point of Commissioner Vestager’s tenure as European Commissioner for Competition. Let us assume that – as with all of her predecessors, and regardless of merit – she will not be reappointed for a second term in the post, so that by the end of 2019 we will have a … Continue Reading