In the midst of a global pandemic, with so many changes in all aspects of our lives, 2021 promises to become another important year in in the development of competition law.

Regulators have spent much of the last year evaluating and consulting on options to strengthen competition regimes going forward. We see an accelerating focus in 2021 on digital markets with significant policy developments globally, as well as increased enforcement against the large online platforms and tech ecosystems. The European Commission also announced its Green Deal earlier this year and competition policy is set to play a pivotal role in supporting sustainability goals, or at least preventing that competition rules present an obstacle. In 2021, both the competition and the State aid rules look set to be adapted to specifically cater to the aims pursued by the Green Deal. Finally, new rules on Vertical Agreements will come and the outcome of the Commission's evaluation of its approach to horizontal co-operation agreements is fast approaching.

In this forward-looking edition of our competition newsletter we therefore consider how the enforcement tools are likely to be changing in 2021 and the potential impact this could have on the digital economy and beyond. 

A big thank you to our editorial committee and to our London-based legal director, Anthony Rosen, for curating this edition. To our readers: we hope you enjoy this newsletter and we wish you all a safe and successful 2021!

Pauline Kuipers and Morten Nissen 
Co-heads of Bird & Bird's Competition & EU group

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