Competition law requirements
impact the success or failure of commercial strategies.
- Do you intend to grow your business through mergers and acquisitions?
Are you considering cooperating with other companies to increase the reach of your business – in geographic or product terms – or to strengthen your ability to innovate?
- Are you sure that your employees are not talking to competitors or using other ‘shortcuts’ to achieve their business targets?
Competition law provides pitfalls and opportunities. It gives authorities and companies the ability to attack certain behaviour and force market players to be prepared to defend themselves against allegations of wrongdoing. We want to show you how to make competition rules work for and not against you. Because this is what we do. Every day.
Mergers & Acquisitions
can help your business grow. They can create efficiencies and allow you to expand into new markets – provided they are allowed to proceed in a timely fashion. Transactions that get bogged down in lengthy and unforeseen merger control procedures destroy value and the very essence of what you are seeking to achieve.
We help you to avoid surprises. We understand these business issues – and help you identify and deal with them.
- We provide strategic advice on the structure of transactions, the approach to competition authorities and the scope of hold separate rules.
- Later, we guide both parties and case officers through legal and commercial issues to ensure timely clearance.
- Where necessary, we coordinate efforts to achieve quick clearance in multiple jurisdictions, advising clients on general filing requirements and liaising with local firms to implement global strategies.
are bad for your business. When they are uncovered, the enterprise may face substantial fines and reputational damage – possibly for activities that precede the current management and owners by years. Employees may face imprisonment. Management may be held responsible if it did not act to prevent wrongdoing. Today, this does not only concern ‘the usual suspects’: No sector of industry is immune.
We provide valuable help in difficult times. Our experience and responsiveness are key elements in your defence whether facing a local review or a global investigation.
- We help you to investigate internally if you suspect illegal coordination may have taken place.
- We provide strategic advice on potential leniency applications to maximise their benefits and avoid pitfalls.
- We defend your interests during the course of an investigation and potentially beyond.
Abuses of Market Power
occur more often than many executives imagine. Competition authorities give increasing attention to such behaviour, often focussing on pricing and rebate policies. Third parties grow more willing to complain. This poses a real threat to many business practices. Diverse policies in different countries make navigating this field a nightmare for the uninitiated.
We protect you from unjustified investigations or attacks by third parties. We work to secure your room for manoeuvre and allow you to compete effectively.
Maximizing the commercial potential of a business means thinking ahead – in particular where fundamentally opposed business models clash. We provide sound legal reasoning, a good understanding of the economic analysis, and share the vision required to help shape your future business strategy today.
should form an integral part of every business and reflect a fundamental commitment of senior management. However, in many sectors competition law compliance may clash with traditional ways of doing business. That is why compliance demands an effort – from the company and from its employees.
We provide comprehensive compliance solutions to manage your antitrust risk. From high-level training manuals to detailed training sessions for key employees, we approach this in a straightforward way, speaking a language that employees will understand.
To be successful, a compliance programme must be more than a list of dos and don’ts. We support you in making compliance a part of your company culture. Ultimately, this is where the crucial battle is fought. We help you to win it.
Agreements with competitors
on R&D, production, logistics, and/or distribution – to name just a few fields – may help expand your business and compete more effectively in a global economy. There are many legitimate business reasons for combining forces with a competitor. However, such arrangements may also have anti-competitive effects.
We ensure that your strategic choices do not encounter unforeseen antitrust risks. We apply in-depth legal knowledge and sound commercial thinking to identify potential issues. Our experience allows us to provide guidance on how to turn strategic choices into business reality while managing the competition law-related risk.
Markets are subject to change. This is why we do not just give one-off advice but work with you throughout the life of your project in a cost effective manner to ensure continued compliance with competition law requirements.
Agreements with suppliers / distributors
may be used to effectively reach customers or secure supplies of important input materials to avoid production disruptions in times of shortages. Non-core activities may be outsourced to focus on what you do best. However, such agreements may also be restrictive or foreclose the market for others.
We guide you through the maze, combining sound economic thinking and sharp legal reasoning to help you achieve your commercial goals and manage competition law risks.
If necessary, we defend your interests before the European Commission, national competition authorities or national courts. We are there to help you – not only to reach a legally sound arrangement but also to protect your freedom to pursue such business activities if third parties challenge them.
may allow you to operate your business in regions and under circumstances that are commercially unfavourable. In the EU, specific rules define the conditions under which a member state may grant support, the amounts that may be awarded, and the procedures that must be followed. “Getting it wrong” can be costly and may force a re-evaluation of the business case of the whole project.
We provide key input into the process. We provide guidance on how to avoid the legal pitfalls during the planning stages. We also assist you if the matter needs to be notified to the European Commission.
We will also support you when state aid issues may have an impact on a pending M&A project. Hidden state aid liabilities may have a significant impact on the valuation of a target enterprise – we carry out the legal assessment and provide input on the drafting of appropriate reps & warranties to cover existing risks.
allows you to present your case effectively. Competitors, suppliers or customers may not always play by the rules and you may find yourself at the receiving end of anti-competitive actions. Getting your view across to an antitrust authority or a national court may mean the difference between being able to compete on the merits or merely surviving in an anti-competitive environment.
We make sure your voice is heard. We have significant experience in advocating before competition authorities and courts. We help you to weigh the pros and cons of an appeal or a complaint.
Our understanding of procedures and extensive contacts built over years of practice allow us to develop effective strategies at European or national level. We will work together with high quality local firms to give you an on the ground presence wherever global or local strategies need to be implemented.