Antitrust Law

Restrictions on competition agreed by companies are not tolerated in most parts of the world and are often sanctioned draconically. This is why you should choose the antitrust strategy for your company with foresight in order to carefully achieve maximum success in business within the framework defined by antitrust and competition law. Our team provides excellent advice when it comes to identifying risks at an early stage, identifying and benefitting from room to manoeuvre in the of the full range of antitrust: distribution and cooperation of companies, successfully handling mergers and cartel notifications, as well as developing action plans and defence strategies, in particular when monetary fines or damages are imminent. We combine multidisciplinary expertise and experience, both in the traditional industries as well as in the digital economy.

 

In close cooperation with you, we can ensure that risks of legal infringements within your company are identified and minimised at an early stage. For this purpose, we provide effective and tailor-made compliance measures that suit your business culture. Should there ever be a suspicion of legal infringements despite such measures, we conduct internal investigations to help you clarify the matter and also provide assistance during inspections and searches if the antitrust authorities have already initiated investigations at your company (so-called dawn raids). Together with you, we can develop the appropriate defence strategy and represent you vis-à-vis the European Commission, the Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt), and the District Attorney’s Office, as well as before German and European courts.

 

We provide advice on cooperations with other companies, be they competitors, suppliers, purchasers, or project partners. For example, we provide our expertise on how to structure joint ventures in conformity with antitrust law and on drafting distribution, licence and cooperation agreements of whatever kind. If necessary, we also help you enforce these agreements in court.

 

Together with our litigation/arbitration specialists, we comprehensively advise on the enforcement and defence of civil-law claims that are rooted in antitrust law, for example, claims for (antitrust) damages, cease and desist or supply – also by way of injunctive relief where quick action is needed.

 

If an acquisition is planned, we can safely navigate you through the required approval procedures with the antitrust authorities and around any other pitfalls that may be encountered prior to implementation. We examine whether the proposed transaction needs to be notified to the antitrust authorities worldwide and whether it is capable of being approved. We do not only carry out the antitrust due diligence, but additionally ensure that the sales or purchase procedure remains within the limits of what is permitted under antitrust and competition law.

 

Because of our in-depth industry knowledge, in particular in the areas of Energy, Health Care & Life Science, Information Tech & Telecommunications, Mobility & Logistics, and Real Estate & Infrastructure, in addition to our team’s many years of antitrust expertise, we are the ideal partner for your antitrust and competition law issues. This is underlined by the fact that as a full service law firm we can always involve colleagues specialising in other areas of law, such as public subsidies/state aid law, international trade law or litigation.

Our Range of Advisory Services

Compliance and Internal Investigations
  • Setting up an antitrust compliance system
  • Conducting antitrust audits/internal investigations
  • Organising in-house workshops for the management, the legal department and for staff
  • Antitrust & Competition on codes of conduct regarding complying with antitrust and competition law
  • Advising on measures of “self-cleaning”
  • Preparing for unannounced inspections and searches by public authorities (“dawn raids”)

Service Compliance & Internal Investigations >>

“Dawn Raids”, Cartel and Administrative Proceedings
  • On-site support in the event of inspections and searches conducted by the German and European antitrust authorities and the District Attorney’s Office
  • Defending clients in cartel proceedings at national and European levels
  • Leniency applications
  • Settlement procedures in cartel cases handled by the Federal Cartel Office and the European Commission
  • Appealing cartel/fining decisions by Antitrust authorities in court (EU and Germany)
  • Providing comprehensive advice on other official and court proceedings (e.g. administrative proceedings)
  • Advising on how to prepare for unannounced inspections and searches by public authorities (“dawn raids”)
Cooperating with Competitors
  • Structuring the cooperation of companies/drafting cooperation agreements (production, R&D, transfer of technology/licence agreements, specialisation)
  • Advising on the formation of joint ventures and consortia
  • Drafting and reviewing non-compete agreements
  • Participating in the activities of associations
  • Representing clients in administrative procedures before the German and European antitrust authorities
Distribution and Licence Agreements
  • Structuring distribution and licensing systems
  • Drafting and (judicially) enforcing distribution and licence agreements
  • Agency privilege (exemption of agreements between principal and sales agent from Art. 101 TFEU § 1 GWB (German Act Against Restraints of Competition))
  • Legal opinions, in particular as part of self-assessments (individual exemption pursuant to Article 101(3) TFEU)
  • Competition Law 4.0: platforms, algorithms and exchange of information in the digital age
Market Dominance and Regulated Markets
  • Regulated markets (electricity, gas, water, local public transport, railways, air transport, waste disposal, etc.)
  • Representing clients in abuse-of-dominance proceedings before antitrust and regulatory authorities
  • Special compliance requirements for companies holding a dominant or strong market position
  • Refusal-to-supply-cases
Litigation and Antitrust Damages
  • Antitrust damages
  • Other antitrust and competition law disputes (in particular regarding supply, cease and desist, and termination agreements, amongst other things)
  • Advising on antitrust-related post-M&A disputes
  • Injunctive relief

Service Complex Disputes >>

Antitrust in M&A Transactions, Merger Control, Formation of Companies
  • Merger control proceedings at the Federal Cartel Office and the European Commission
  • Commitments and requirements
  • Coordinating foreign filings (multijurisdictional filings)
  • Antitrust due diligence
  • Feasibility studies prior to proposed acquisitions
  • Formation of joint ventures (in particular non-competes)
  • Post-M&A non-compete agreements
  • Avoiding gun-jumping (i.e. prohibition of implementing transactions between signing und closing)

Service Corporate / M&A >>

Antitrust Compliance for the Digital Economy
  • Legal opinions on digital business models and contracts, in particular for platform business models
  • Advising on and implementing compliance systems within companies – how to protect against competition law infringements (“compliance by design”)
  • Providing merger control advice for transactions in the digital economy
  • Advising on abuse-of-dominance scenarios
  • Assessing forms of cooperation, also between competitors
  • Providing antitrust/distribution law advice on all aspects of e-commerce
  • Advising on how to prepare for unannounced inspections and searches by public authorities (“dawn raids”)

Key Contact >>

Key Contact

Anne Caroline Wegner, LL.M. (European University Institute)

Partner

T +49 211 5660 18742