COVID-19 and Competition Authorities

Since its emergence in late December, COVID-19 has reshaped the world’s markets. Bans on travel and gatherings have hollowed out the transport and tourism sectors, while containment measures of various forms affecting over 40% of the entire global population have caused the widespread closure of establishments and driven an unprecedented shift to home working. Added to this, supply issues, together with stockpiling activity and demand shifts, have caused product shortages around the world.

In this environment, competition authorities globally are being pulled in multiple directions, with traditional competition enforcement taking somewhat of a back seat to newer and fast-moving issues. Such issues include grappling with: (i) the reorganisation of administrative priorities in response to capacity-based or other technical restraints; (ii) the need for collaboration between competing businesses in certain sectors; and (iii) the urgent grant of State support to save private entities at risk of failure – in all cases seeking to avoid the unintended consequences of harmful anti-competitive conduct.

Continue Reading How is the United Kingdom Rising to the Competition Challenges of COVID-19?

As businesses worldwide implement remote working on a scale that most have never experienced before, it is important not to lose sight of competition law compliance when switching to this new environment.

  1. Contact with competitors

We all have friends – often former colleagues – working across many different sectors; some may work for your direct competitors or up/downstream of your business. As tempting as it might be to discuss how your respective businesses are responding to the economic challenges of COVID-19, it is important to remember not to share any commercially sensitive information – particularly relating to future pricing intentions, geographical areas of focus, capacity or strategic intentions. Anti-competitive conduct remains prohibited and could lead to criminal sanctions, including potentially on individuals.

Continue Reading How Remote are Competition Law Risks When Working Remotely?