The European Commission has published today a Report on Competition Policy for 2020, presenting the key policy and legislative initiatives undertaken last year, as well as a selection of decisions adopted. In 2020, EU competition policy significantly contributed to the Commission’s efforts to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, both in terms of the healthcare emergency, as well as on its impact on the livelihoods of citizens. The State aid Temporary Framework, adopted at the beginning of the crisis, has enabled Member States to use the full flexibility foreseen under State aid rules to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. In the area of Antitrust, the Commission published a Communication providing guidance to companies cooperating on projects aimed at addressing supply shortages of essential coronavirus-relevant products and services, such as medicines and medical equipment. Furthermore, despite the challenges brought forward by the changed working conditions, in 2020, the Commission took several decisions in this field, among which 3 cartel decisions and 5 antitrust ones. It has also launched an antitrust inquiry into the sector of Internet of Things (IoT) for consumer-related products and services in the EU. Also in the area of merger control, the Commission adopted over 350 merger decisions and intervened in 18 cases (including 13 mergers cleared subject to commitments in first phase and 3 cleared with remedies after a second phase). The Commission also adopted a proposal for a Digital Markets Act to addresses the negative consequences arising from certain behaviours by platforms acting as digital ‘gatekeepers’ to the single market, and published White Paper, to develop tools and policies to better tackle the distortive effects of foreign subsidies in the internal market. The full text of the Report (available in EN, FR, and DE and other languages) and the accompanying staff working document (available in EN) are available here.
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