The effect of a no deal Brexit on EU competition law
The effect of a no deal Brexit on EU competition law

The following Competition guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The effect of a no deal Brexit on EU competition law
  • Effect on EU competition law under a no-deal Brexit

This Practice Note considers the key implications on the application of EU competition law in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Effect on EU competition law under a no-deal Brexit

In the event the UK leaves the EU in a ‘no deal’ scenario, the key implications (that can be foreseen) on the application of EU competition law in relation to antitrust (including cartels), merger control and State aid can be summarised as follows:

  1. Antitrust

    1. Territorial application of EU competition law—the fact the UK will become a third country will not impact the applicability of the EU antitrust rules to UK undertakings. Like any third country, a UK undertaking will be subject to EU antitrust rules if its anti-competitive conduct is implemented or produces effects in the EU

    2. Parallel proceedings—if a UK undertaking’s conduct affects both the EU and the UK, the undertaking could be faced with parallel investigations. A number of UK companies have been fined in cartels that the Commission has investigated. For example, UK companies were involved in cartels relating to Zinc phosphate, LIBOR, Haberdashery, Car Glass, to name a few cases. In the future, such cases could be dual investigated with the the Commission investigating the effects of the anti-competitive behaviour across the EU Member States, while the CMA could be investigating anti-competitive effects of