Competition & Antitrust

Knowing markets,
creating room to manoeuvre.

National and European competition laws are designed to ensure companies compete on the market under fair and equal conditions. Hence competition and antitrust laws play an essential role when drafting contracts with customers, suppliers or competitors. Nonetheless, it is not rare for companies to find themselves confronted by the German Federal Cartel Office or the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) due to planned corporate transactions or antitrust proceedings. In both cases, competent legal support is imperative.

Here at GSK Stockmann, we have worked in the fields of competition and antitrust for many years and gained considerable expertise. We offer support if you are planning a corporate transaction. We will register such transactions with the authorities, help you draft contracts for complex distribution systems, represent your rights and interests during court proceedings or out-of-court settlements, and handle communications with the respective authorities.

With precision and purpose, we develop solutions for all challenges in the field of competition and antitrust – solutions which are not only legally watertight, but which are also practical and make economic sense.

Violating competition law can have considerable consequences; heavy fines may be imposed, and contracts may be ruled invalid. To avoid such consequences, we involve our colleagues from Corporate, Procurement, M&A and Commercial at an early stage to ensure your project can proceed as planned and is legally admissible

Main areas of expertise

We advise our German and international clients on all aspects of German and European antitrust law – whether this involves drafting complex contracts, representing your interests with the authorities or providing support with court proceedings or out-of-court settlements. 

During your corporate transaction, we will argue your case to the German Federal Cartel Office or the DG COMP. We offer advice and support from start to finish – examining whether registration is compulsory, preparing the merger notification, and supporting you through to the end of the proceedings – including the prohibition order on completion which applies until clearance has been granted. If you are planning a cross-border company acquisition or a merger which impacts other national markets, we will liaise where necessary with partner law firms from our global network.

If you have been accused of unlawful price fixing or other antitrust violations, or if proceedings have been opened against you on account of exploiting your market dominance in a particular field, we will negotiate your case with the competition authorities. We also offer advice and support if you decide to file a leniency application to avoid or reduce fines and penalties.

If you are structuring a complex distribution system or licensing system, or entering into an agreement with a competitor, it is important to pay close attention to any resulting restrictions on competition. We offer target-oriented advice and develop practical solutions which correspond with your economic expectations.

Has your business suffered damage as the result of a cartel? Or is your company being sued for damages as part of a cartel? We offer support and representation in court claims and out-of-court settlements. We also defend you against antitrust damage claims and provide support following antitrust fines.

Many antitrust offences are committed unknowingly. In order to protect your company against possible antitrust offences, we develop and implement compliance programmes in the field of antitrust and train your employees to deal with problematic antitrust issues. We also develop guidelines showing you and your employees how to act in order to prevent or manage crises. In doing so, we work hand in hand with our colleagues in Compliance. 

Companies are legally required to cooperate in the event of market or sector investigations. We offer support and advice on your legal obligations and work closely together with you to develop a successful strategy, enabling the respective authorities to reach decisions which do not worsen your market position.

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