EU Competition Law

“We offer our assistance at all levels, in all areas of competition law.”

EU competition rules have become an increasingly serious source of risks for companies.

Competition authorities at both EU and national levels regularly impose “record” fines, which they systematically display as warnings to the business community.

At the same time, the level of detection and prosecution of anticompetitive practices rises at a steady pace, with the EU legislature regularly “upgrading” the powers of national competition authorities and courts.

The most recent legislative developments (damages directive, class actions, increased powers for the national courts) and the enforcement records of all competition authorities across the continent confirm that compliance with EU competition rules (whether substantive or procedural) is to be taken seriously.

Legal advice

The bulk of our advisory practice consists in advising companies and trade associations on all competition aspects of their day-to-day business operations and strategy.

From the conception or maintenance of distribution networks to the negotiation of complex forms of cooperation, we provide timely, concrete and robust legal advice to reconcile the companies’ business constraints with the requirements of EU competition rules.

The latter is often presented as a constraint on the former, but we never ever left a regulatory issue without a pragmatic solution.

Compliance

We regularly assist companies – of all sizes – in their efforts to ensure strict compliance with EU competition rules, while at the same time keeping up with their business strategy.

Our services include the provision of comprehensive antitrust audits, antitrust trainings, the drafting and internal dissemination of tailor-made antitrust guidelines or more comprehensive compliance programs. We also assist trade associations with a tailor-made offer of antitrust compliance and training services.

Cartel & antitrust-related defense

We routinely assist and represent clients in all sorts of antitrust proceedings before the Commission (cartels, allegedly anticompetitive agreements, alleged abuse of a dominant position, procedural infringements, etc.).

Whether acting for a company targeted by an investigation or for a complainant, we rely on a solid experience and a sensible approach to communication with the Commission and national competition authorities.

Merger control

In this area, we help clients identify and – where applicable – secure the necessary merger control approvals within and beyond the EU.

We help clients secure the required pre-merger clearances from the Commission for transactions which meet the EU merger control thresholds. For transactions which do not meet those thresholds, we rely on our network of antitrust & litigation experts, and help clients secure the necessary clearances from the competent competition authorities.

State aids

We regularly assist clients in securing the benefit of State aids, where such aids require the prior clearance of the Commission.

In this area too, we are equally able to assist potential recipients of State aid, or help clients oppose (sometimes derail) the granting of State aids to competitors, where such aids distort competition within the EU Internal market. 

See also