EU Competition

Antitrust News & Briefs  

Steptoe’s European practice helps clients manage competition risks and challenges associated with doing business in the European Union.  We handle cases before the Commission (DG COMP), the EU General Court, and the Court of Justice, as well as national agencies and courts.  

Our antitrust & competition lawyers in Brussels, London, and Washington form an integrated team that provides a seamless strategic approach to antitrust investigations conducted in parallel by authorities in multiple jurisdictions.  When an antitrust enforcement action is foreseen or underway, we work closely with our clients to develop and execute effective defense strategies to combat liability and possible hefty fines, to minimize the risk of civil follow-on litigation, and to avoid harm to corporate image and reputation. 

Our EU Competition Experience at a Glance

In a nutshell, members of our EU competition team have handled: 

  • 16 dawn raids
  • 22 cartels and investigations
  • 6 sector inquiries
  • 10 cartel and dawn raids litigation cases
  • 6 abuse of dominance investigations and complaints
  • 100 compliance initiatives
  • 150 merger control cases 

We help clients with:

  • Dawn Raids, Fine Settlement Proceedings, Follow-on Civil Litigation
  • Merger Filing Analysis, Phase I and II Merger Review, Remedies Negotiations
  • Self-Assessments and Advice on Pricing, Distribution, and IP Licensing
  • Compliance for Trade Associations and Standard-Setting Organizations
  • Coordination of Investigations by NCAs 

Representative Matters

Cartel Investigations, Restrictive Practices, and Dawn Raids 

  • Advising a leading online video-streaming company in the e-commerce sector inquiry, the Portability Regulation and the revision of the Audio-Visual Media Services Directive as well as other competition-related matters (including net neutrality, interconnection, and telecom mergers)
  • Conducting an internal audit for a multinational industrial manufacturer of business practices challenged by whistleblower and devising enhanced compliance training
  • Representing a global industrial group regarding the investigation by the UK Competition and Markets Authority into its subsidiary’s minimum online advertised price policy and settling with the maximum possible penalty discounts for cooperation, compliance and early settlement
  • Representing a leading Asian chemical company in an ongoing European Commission investigation into electronics components for mobile and portable devices and a parallel litigation before the English courts
  • Advising a major health care insurer in relation to an investigation by the UK Competition and Markets Authority into the private health care market
  • Representing Japan Airlines in a series of English court litigations in connection with the Airfreight case 

Unilateral Conduct by Dominant Companies

  • Advising a leading supplier of consumer products on bundling, tying and rebate schemes
  • Representing a major consumer electronics group in its antitrust defense against a standard essential patent action introduced by a competitor in France
  • Securing a favorable outcome for the REEL Group, a French engineering group, in the European Commission’s antitrust investigation into Rio Tinto Alcan’s tying practice in the aluminum sector
  • Advising and representing a testing software vendor in an antitrust investigation involving refusal to supply interoperability information
  • Advising a leading technology company relating to an alleged abuse of a dominant position by its main rival and also advising on a proposed bundling, tying and rebate scheme. 

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Joint Ventures

  • Representing US defense group in the demerger of its joint venture with a French defense group
  • Advising a European food group in a major French acquisition
  • Advising an international communications network in a strategic acquisition
  • Advising a leading internet video streaming provider on a number of telecom mergers in Europe
  • Advising Rockwell Collins Inc. on the EU and third country merger control aspects of its acquisition of ARINC Inc. 

Antitrust Compliance

  • Assisting an international services group in their bid-rigging / consortia bidding compliance
  • Advising on the EU competition law aspects of the licensing of globally-recognized brands
  • Advising an international financial services company on its market data gathering practices and possible information exchange issues
  • Advising a global insurance group on the creation of an international health insurance consortium with a German-based insurance company
  • Acting as outside counsel to the board of directors of a biotech trade association on a broad range of compliance issues
  • Advising a leading supplier of high-end sport goods in relation to online commerce (RPMs, MFNs, hub & spokes). 

Noteworthy

  • Ranked, Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa Competition 2011 - 2016 (Belgium)

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