EU And US Are Getting Tough On Noncompete Clauses In M&A

Law360, New York (January 29, 2013, 12:47 PM EST) -- On Jan. 23, the European Commission imposed large fines on Telefonica SA and Portugal Telecom for entering into an illegal noncompete clause as part of a transaction. This enforcement action demonstrates the importance for companies to check carefully that noncompete obligations in transaction documents comply with competition law.

What Happened to Telefonica and Portugal Telecom?

In 2010, Telefonica acquired sole control of the Brazilian mobile operator, Vivo, which was previously jointly owned by Telefonica and Portugal Telecom. In the context of this transaction, the parties inserted...
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