The competition and antitrust laws, including the merger control, are heavily influenced nationally and across Europe by the decisions of the competition authorities and the courts. Companies that do not act in accordance with antitrust regulations are facing considerable fines. Therefore, you should rely on the many years of experience of our attorneys for competition and antitrust law when clarifying antitrust issues. On the one hand, we provide you with preventive advice on all questions of competition and antitrust law; on the other hand, our attorneys for antitrust law also support you in fine proceedings and claims for damages. Our attorneys for competition and antitrust law at LSV will gladly assist you. This includes all antitrust issues in regards to:
- Merger control proceedings
- Cartel fine proceedings
- Compensation after antitrust violations (antitrust damage), antitrust abuse proceedings
- Preventive compliance
Merger control proceedings
The aim of merger control is to prevent an excessive concentration of entrepreneurial power in a market. Merger control procedures must therefore be observed in almost all major mergers. Our antitrust lawyers will gladly represent you in merger control proceedings before the national and European antitrust authorities and advise you in advance on all antitrust issues.
Our antitrust and competition lawyers always strive to represent their clients in cartel fines proceedings in the best possible way and thus minimize the negative effects.
Based on our many years of experience, we are able to assess in which cases it makes sense to reach an agreement with the antitrust authorities and in which cases it is worth conducting legal fines proceedings.
Cartel fine proceedings
Cartel fines proceedings can reach threatening proportions for companies and can drag on over long periods of time. Searches disrupt operations and can lead to negative publicity.
Compensation after antitrust violations (antitrust damage), antitrust abuse proceedings
As a result of a cartel, competition in these markets is generally distorted in regards to goods and services and, in retrospect, prices paid by customers (e.g. customers or suppliers) are excessive for years. Antitrust law provides for claims for damages, in particular payments, to companies injured due to a violation of the antitrust legislation (cartel victims). Anyone who is a cartel victim can demand compensation for their own individual cartel damages from the cartel participants. The conditions for asserting private claims for damages before the national courts have been harmonized throughout Europe, further lowering the hurdles for the successful enforcement of such demands by the German legislator in mid-2017.
Obligation of the civil court to follow a final decision of a competition authority (§ 33b GWB - Act against Restraints of Competition)
The antitrust infringement as such is no longer to be proven by a private plaintiff procedurally when claiming damages, but the antitrust infringement can in principle be regarded as proven when referring to a final decision of a competition authority (e.g. a fine decision of the Federal Cartel Office, a decision of the European Commission or also of a court), since a civil court involved in the claim for damages is bound by these decisions.
Your lawyer in order to gain access to files of the antitrust authority
Damaged companies generally have the right to inspect the files of the antitrust authorities in order to examine their claims for damages (e.g. for lost profit) and to be able to substantiate and prove them more emphatically in a legal dispute. Since the beginning of June 2017, it has been possible in Germany for cartel victims and participants to demand the information and evidence required for enforcement from cartel members and third parties if a claim for damages can only be substantiated.
Every attorney working in antitrust law advises the client in the examination of claims and represents the client in this and also in the inspection and evaluation of the files of the antitrust authorities (Federal Cartel Office) as well as in the obtaining of information and the procurement of evidence. Your lawyer advises you both in the examination of the existence of claims for damages, the assessment of their prospects of success, the obtaining of information and the procurement of evidence as well as in the subsequent extrajudicial negotiation of claims for damages and in the case of a non-agreement also in their judicial enforcement. On the part of the claimants, the lawyer acts in the defense and settlement of unfounded claims for damages.
Antitrust abuse proceedings are often directed against price fixing agreements or other antitrust violations resulting from the abuse of a dominant market position. LSV's antitrust lawyers support you in asserting your business interests vis-à-vis the antitrust authorities and courts. Our experience in many antitrust abuse proceedings enables us to realistically assess your case and the possible legal consequences, so that we can develop and enforce an individual defense strategy for you.
We also support companies in defending their interests against dominant companies in the market on the basis of the law against unfair competition. Early legal advice from our antitrust and competition lawyers ensures that your company is always in compliance with all antitrust and competition law regulations.
This prevents lengthy and costly fine proceedings and enables you to negotiate and implement mergers quickly and with legal certainty. Please contact our antitrust and competition lawyers for all legal questions in this area and make an appointment for a consultation. Please contact our attorneys for antitrust and competition law.