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Competition & Antitrust

Covering all areas of competition & antitrust law in CEE/SEE

Experienced lawyers in complex antitrust and competition matters

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. We can help you assess and improve the compliance of your operations so you can focus on what is important for you: staying competitive.

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. We advise on effective structuring solutions, and propose, negotiate and implement remedial actions to obtain the necessary regulatory clearances.

“Highlighting the firm’s coverage of diverse competition matters, one client notes: ‘They know us very well and provide us with a great level of service on competition law matters.'”

– Chambers Europe

“Clients appreciate the team’s ‘very thorough and strategic’ approach.”

– Chambers Europe

“Clients recommend the firm for its ‘very broad knowledge, to-the-point, clear recommendations and reliable partners.'”

“Another client also highlights the firm’s ‘value for money, deep antitrust capabilities and high availability.'”

– Chambers Europe

What makes our team the best antitrust & competition lawyers for you?

Our regional, integrated firm offers distinct advantages spanning the full spectrum of legal services.

  • An established international law firm with 60+ years of experience in Austria and CEE/SEE
  • A fully integrated, single team of 340 locally-qualified lawyers in 13 countries and offices
  • Collaboration and innovation across multidisciplinary teams and offices
  • Excellent client satisfaction – responsive, client-oriented, and consistent
  • Experience with complex and cross-border matters covering the full spectrum of legal services
  • Knowledge and expertise to add value to deals across industries

Leading the legal field

Our lawyers are involved in key transactions and matters across the region, bringing their industry expertise and specialised business knowledge to add value to our clients’ work.

Merger control proceedings in large telecommunications acquisition

Complex Austrian competition law investigation

DIY chain acquisition of ~70 retail stores

Complex food wholesaler merger control case

Trusted antitrust & competition lawyers for competition compliance, litigation & merger control

Complex competition law investigation

Our team is working on a case which concerns the most extensive competition law investigation in the history of Austrian competition law enforcement. We are representing one of the largest and most heavily involved companies concerned. The case started with dawn raid operations following suspected bid rigging in the construction industry involving many companies over a long time period.

The case involves a complex interplay between competition law, procurement law and criminal law. After detailed investigations over nearly four years, the FCA requested the Cartel Court to impose fines against our client.

Telecommunications EU merger control proceedings

Our team advised and represented Deutsche Telekom and the mobile network operator T-Mobile Austria in EU Commission merger control proceedings concerning Deutsche Telekom/T-Mobile’s acquisition of UPC Austria. The transaction is one of the most prominent telecommunications cases notified to and assessed by the EU Commission. It is also one of the largest transactions ever in the Austrian telecommunications sector.

Representation before EU Commission on large acquisition

We advised the leading European DIY chain OBI on all competition law aspects of the acquisition of nearly 70 retail stores of its large rival (bauMax). We advised on all competition law aspects, including structuring the case, strategy regarding jurisdiction and representation before the EU Commission and (after a referral of the case) the national competition authority in Austria.

Austrian food wholesalers merger control

This case concerns one of the most complex merger control cases in Austria in 2022 (merger between two of the largest food wholesalers in Austria). We are advising and representing the buyer, Metro Group in Phase 2 merger control proceedings regarding Metro’s planned acquisition of REWE Group’s Austrian food wholesale business.

The transaction would lead to substantial combined market shares in certain local markets based on the established market definition practice of the Austrian Federal Competition Authority. We are arguing in front of the Austrian Cartel Court (Phase 2) that the authorities’ traditional market definition practice in the food wholesale sector does not reflect the current market reality.

Areas of specialisation

Abuse of Dominance

We can support you 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. As an experienced firm we advise you on the competition law compliance of your commercial policies and business strategies with the special obligations you have under national and European competition law.

Cartels

We handle the entire lifecycle of cartel investigations before the European Commission and national competition authorities for you – 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.

Competition Compliance

Trust us to develop, implement and monitor tailor-made competition compliance programmes; 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.

Competition Litigation

We represent you before EU and national courts in litigation cases involving alleged abuse of a dominant position, cartels, restrictive practices and state aid. You benefit from our team’s strong track record in handling large-scale and complex EU competition law 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 can also advise on and ensure competition compliance of your cooperation agreements, including research and development, production and joint purchasing agreements.

Merger Control

Our team is regularly involved in EU merger regulation cases regarding EU competition law rules applicable to merger control as well as notifications to the national competition authorities across the CEE/SEE region. This means we can devise effective structuring solutions for your mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures and propose, negotiate and implement remedial actions, when needed, to obtain regulatory clearances and help you achieve your business goals.

Private Enforcement

You will benefit from our substantial experience in assisting clients on damage claims relating to national and EU competition law infringements and on other claims relating to European Union antitrust law and competition law before the national courts in the CEE/SEE region.

State Aid

We provide you with effective state aid support both at the EU and national level. We help you 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.

Get in touch

Whether you need an international team with extensive experience, Wolf Theiss can support your business goals through our profound legal practice.