Competition & Antitrust
European and local enforcement authorities are increasing their scrutiny of companies in many sectors, particularly in matters involving competition law. Your business needs comprehensive advice to prevent unwelcome surprises down the road. Our Competition & Antitrust team helps businesses assess and improve the compliance of their operations so they can focus on what is important for them: staying competitive.
We advise on EU and national competition law matters with an eye to your success. This means providing reliable results, fast. For years, we have advised and represented on all aspects of competition law, including cartel investigations, merger control, co-operation and distribution agreements, abusive practices and state aid. Organising competition law audits and representing clients before national competition authorities, the EU Commission and other courts are among our specialties – no small matter, when you consider that Wolf Theiss has offices in 13 countries throughout CEE/SEE.
What else do we do? We advise clients in antitrust litigation, including cartels, abuse of a dominant market position as well as private enforcement of competition law. Our local teams are on hand day-in, day-out to help with the details: we don't shy from tricky matters like distribution systems, co-operation agreements, rebate schemes and pricing policies.
Our track record of success in CEE/SEE means that we can make our relationships with competition authorities work for you so that even complex mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures get wrapped up smoothly. The same goes for EU merger regulation cases and notifications to national competition authorities across the region. Clients look to us for effective structuring solutions for mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, and to propose, negotiate and implement remedial actions to obtain the necessary regulatory clearances.
Abuse of Dominance
Our lawyers act on a variety of allegations of abusive practices, including excessive, discriminatory and predatory pricing, discount and rebate strategies, margin squeezing, exclusive agreements, tying and bundling practices and access to essential facilities. We also regularly advise dominant firms on compliance of their commercial policies and business strategies with the special obligations they have under EU and national competition law.
We handle the entire lifecycle of cartel investigations before the European Commission and national competition authorities – from the launch of an investigation by dawn raids, development of coordinated and efficient response strategies, leniency applications and settlements, to appeal and follow-on damages claims.
Trust us to develop, implement and monitor tailor-made competition compliance programs; to conduct audits to identify and minimise legal risk early on; to prepare clear guidelines and training programmes on achieving competition compliance and the proper response to dawn raids and other investigations by the authorities.
We provide representation before EU and national courts in litigation cases involving alleged abuse of a dominant position, cartels, restrictive practices and state aid. Our team has a strong track record in handling large-scale or complex litigation cases in several jurisdictions across the CEE/SEE region.
Vertical & cooperation Agreements
Covering the full spectrum of competition law issues ensuing from various commercial arrangements with suppliers, distributors, customers and other parties, our team can help you structure effective distribution systems, including franchise, agency and licensing agreements. We also regularly advise on and ensure competition compliance of cooperation agreements, including research and development, production and joint purchasing agreements.
Our team is regularly involved in EU merger regulation cases as well as notifications to the national competition authorities across the CEE/SEE region. We devise effective structuring solutions for mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures and propose, negotiate and implement remedial actions, when needed, to obtain regulatory clearances and help our clients achieve their business goals.
We have substantial experience in assisting clients on damage claims relating to EU and national competition law infringements and on other claims relating to competition law before the national courts in the CEE/SEE region.
We provide effective state aid support both at the EU and national level, helping clients successfully navigate through complex acquisitions and disposals of state-owned assets, large-scale restructurings in the course of financial and economic turmoil, investigations by the authorities and challenging court cases, repayment of state aid and recovery procedures.