Antitrust and Competition

17. March 2021

We provide extensive legal advice on dealing with horizontal and vertical restrictions of competition, in the area of abuse control, competition and antitrust infringement proceedings, on asserting and enforcing private antitrust and follow-on damages claims and on defending against such claims. We also advise on merger control proceedings before the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office. Furthermore, we coordinate global merger control clearance and ensure that the individual evaluation proceedings are conducted efficiently and uniformly. We assist you in conducting internal investigations, represent you in cartel office investigations and advise you in preparing and submitting bonus and/or leniency applications.

We represent you in competition matters and in negotiations at the European Commission, the Federal Cartel Office and before European and German courts. We help you to deal with new developments, for example new claims proceedings and claims for damages. On the one hand, competition and antitrust law can serve as a sharp weapon in many proceedings, if used properly. On the other hand, an effective defense strategy is necessary whenever your company is the target of cartel office investigations or is sued for infringement of competition and antitrust law.

In addition, we offer individualized assistance on introducing compliance systems and training to detect and prevent infringements of competition and antitrust laws.

Antitrust administrative offense proceedings

Antitrust administrative offense proceedings can place a significant burden on you and your company. If internal investigations detect infringing activity within the company, we will step in with professional and individualized advice before such proceedings even begin to avert impending damage and assist you with introducing suitable compliance systems to prevent any such activity without delay. If you turn to us after the competition and antitrust authorities have started an investigation, we will also support you. Particularly if you find yourself subjected to a dawn raid, we will be there for you on very short notice. Antitrust proceedings usually raise questions ranging from cooperation with the authorities, securing evidence within the company and finally deciding whether to accept a fine and the risk of having to pay damages or to defend such proceedings in court. All of these issues require careful balancing of the various interests of your company and all stakeholders.

Antitrust damages (private enforcement)

We advise entrepreneurs and companies both in defending against antitrust damages claims and in filing and enforcing such claims in follow-on proceedings. Because our expertise is based on advising and representing both businesses damaged by a cartel and those at risk of violating cartel law themselves, we are familiar with both sides and can provide individual counsel based on the specific circumstances of your situation. We assist your company both in and out of court in conducting or defending enforcement proceedings. We also offer you access to our network of external advisors, for example specialized economic experts and legal-tech service providers who are able process large amounts of data for use as evidence. In addition to providing you with legal advice, we apply our own business expertise to coordinate your efforts to determine the quantum of damages you may want to claim or to reserve, as the case may be. In doing so, we constantly monitor cost and risk to enable you to pursue the most promising avenues while avoiding unnecessary risks, at a reasonable price.

Merger control

We also advise on domestic and international merger control proceedings, both as part of our M&A transactions business and in response to specific inquiries. In addition to our experience with merger control proceedings at the Federal Cartel Office and the European Commission, we also offer you access to our global network of advisors in the various international jurisdictions with whom we regularly collaborate on international merger control proceedings. In addition to advising on German and European merger control law, we coordinate complex international merger proceedings. This includes offering cost effective data processing services with a centralized data flow to avoid duplicate inquiries and keep internal and external costs down. As a matter of course, we ensure compliance with cartel law when data is exchanged between the two merging companies.