Antitrust Law & Merger Control

We advise German and international enterprises on European and German antitrust law as well as on German and European merger control law. Particular focuses of our legal counselling are distribution systems and the handling of antitrust and fine proceedings.

We have particular experience in the fields of packaging, chemicals, press and automotive logistics.

The solutions developed by our team are particularly creative. We provide prompt assistance during dawn raids and advise on further courses of action, such as leniency applications. Our clients benefit from the fact that, where required, we collaborate closely with colleagues from other areas of law, e.g. corporate, litigation and employment law. This enables us to promptly identify and swiftly realise solutions for our clients that are optimal in all respects.

Dr. Andrés Martin-Ehlers, LL.M.

Partner

Telephone: +49 69 707968 182
Telefax: +49 69 707968 111

andres.martin-ehlers@oppenhoff.eu

Brazil, Central and South America, Mexico, Portugal, Spain

Dr. Daniel Dohrn

Partner

Telephone: +49 221 2091 441
Telefax: +49 221 2091 333

daniel.dohrn@oppenhoff.eu

 
Current topics
Reliable implementation of the EU Geoblocking Regulation

Lecture content

The lecture provides an overview of the amendments of the new EU Geoblocking Regulation and provides assistance and instruction on implementing the new requirements.

Target group

Legal departments, managing directors, distribution

Duration

90 minutes

Platform bans - quo vadis?
Lecture content

The lecture provides an overview of the current decision-making practice concerning bans on using price search machines and internet sales platforms. It explains the development of the practice against the background of the ECJ’s Coty decision.

Target group

Legal departments, managing directors, employees without legal expertise, clients

Duration

45 minutes

Price specifications – in the minefield between permitted price recommenda-tions and prohibited vertical price fixing
Lecture content

The strict stance taken by the German Federal Cartel Office in its differentiation between permitted price recommendations and prohibited price fixing is posing considerable challenges for pricing practice. The lecture elucidates the status quo on the ban on price fixing. It is conceived as a guideline for use in practice and, through practical exemplary cases, provides an insight into the dos and don'ts as well as addressimg related topics such as volume management and action planning.

Target group

Legal departments, employees working in distribution, managing directors

Duration

30 minutes

The 9th Amendment of the German Act Against Restraints of Competition – an overview of the most important legislative changes
Lecture content

The lecture gives an overview of the most important legislative changes made within the scope of the 9th Amendment of the German Act Against Restraints of Competition (9. GWB-Novelle). Besides the implementation of the European Cartel Damages Directive, inter alia also the closure of the gap disclosed by the “Wurst” cartel, it addresses group liability for cartel breaches and changes in the merger control process.

Target group

Legal practitioners in general, management, specialists

Duration

ca. 120 minutes

Current developments in German and European antitrust law
Lecture content

The lecture provides an overview of the current topics of European and German antitrust law and of the current decision-making practice of the cartel authorities and jurisprudence.

Target group

Legal practitioners in general, employees without legal expertise

Duration

60 minutes

Antitrust Law 4.0 – antitrust liability risks in an age of digital networking
Lecture content

The lecture covers the potential antitrust risks arising in the age of digital networking between enterprises. It also provides an outlook of possible legal developments and economical damage theories in the age of “Industry 4.0”.

Target group

Legal practitioners in general, employees without legal expertise, management

Duration

ca. 30 - 60 minutes

 
Antitrust Law Compliance
Things you should know about antitrust law – the basics and current developments
Lecture content

This introductory seminar provides a comprehensive insight into cartel law compliance in consideration of the current decision-making practice of the cartel authorities and courts. Amongst other things it deals with questions such as the correct handling of competitors, working groups, association meetings, restraints of competition in supply contracts and the abusive use of a market-dominating position. If the lecture is given in the form of a one-day workshop, we also take a more in-depth look at typical situations through case studies and role play.

Target group

Legal practitioners in general, managing directors

Duration

ca. 120 minutes or a one-day workshop

 

Antitrust law – Who may collude with whom?
Lecture content

An introductory seminar on antitrust law: the lecture is aimed at interested students and legal trainees seeking a first insight into the most important regulatory areas of German and European antitrust law. It handles the three pillars of antitrust law: (1) cartel bans, (2) the abusive use of a market-dominating position and (3) merger control.

Target group

Students, legal trainees, legal staff

Duration

ca. 60 minutes

 

Liability – How the courts call managers to account
Lecture content

The lecture gives an overview of specific risk potentials of the management level in connection with breaches of cartel law.

Target group

Specialists, legal practitioners in general, employees without legal expertise, managing directors

Duration

ca. 30 - 60 minutes

Compliance in purchasing – how can I avoid cartel damages through supp-liers and contractors?
Lecture content

This lecture examines the topic of cartel law compliance when purchasing products/services. It provides valuable tips to protect against cartel damages arising from the anti-competitive or coordinated conduct of suppliers and contractors (e.g. in contract award procedures).

Target group

Legal practitioners in general, management, specialists

Duration

ca. 60 minutes

Gun-Jumping
Lecture content

Transactions which require clearance from the cartel authorities are subject to a ban on execution. Violations can be penalised with sensitive fines. The German Federal Cartel Office applies extremely strict standards in its practice and, for example, already considers the undertaking of part-actions to be violations of the ban on execution. Since purchasers are generally keen to integrate their target into their group as quickly as possible, in the phase between the signing and the cartel authority’s transaction clearance they frequently already unwittingly take action which could be considered to be actions in execution of the transaction and which therefore represent a prohibited violation of the ban on execution (so-called gun-jumping). ‎The lecture aims to provide practical assistance in distinguishing between permissible and impermissible measures and in efficiently preparing for the integration of the target without violating the ban on execution and risking a fine. 

Target group

All employees of companies involved in M&A transactions and the ensuing integration. It is suitable for both legal experts and people without legal expertise alike.

Duration

60 minutes

 
Cartel Damages
Current topic: the 9th Amendment of the German Act Against Restraints of Competition – what effects does it have on and during cartel damage pro-ceedings
Lecture content

The lecture provides an overview of the most important legislative changes made within the scope of reform of the Act with respect to cartel damage proceedings.

Target group

Legal practitioners in general, employees without legal expertise

Duration

45-60 minutes

Securing and enforcing damage claims against cartel members
Lecture content
  • Which measures are necessary to secure claims? How can the imminent expiration of the limitation period for claims be suspended?
  • Which possibilities are available to enforce cartel damage claims?
  • Against whom does the damaged party have claims?
  • How are cartel damages determined and proven?
  • How can resources be effectively used to enforce claims?
Target group

Legal practitioners in general, employees without legal expertise

Duration

45-60 minutes

Liability risk “cartel damages”
Lecture content
  • Group liability – are parent companies and affiliates liable to pay damages for cartel misdemeanours of a group company?
  • Are natural persons (managing directors, distribution managers, etc.) liable to pay damages?
  • Can enterprises take legal action against persons responsible for cartel violations?
Target group

Legal experts, employees without legal expertise

Duration

45-60 minutes

Stumbling blocks in cartel damages proceedings – typical areas of dispute in the enforcement of damage claims
Lecture content
  • The place of jurisdiction – which court(s) has/have jurisdiction?
  • Against whom can and should the legal action be directed?
  • Cartel impact – did the cartel affect the respective business activities?
  • Can claims also be asserted by parties which have incurred damages indirectly?
  • “Purpose” and “effect” – why the effects of a cartel are frequently disputed on the market
  • How can the cartel damages be proven in terms of cause and amount?
  • Was the damage passed on to the next level of trade (pass-on)?
  • Limitation – which provisions are applicable?
Target group

Legal practitioners in general, employees without legal expertise

Duration

45-60 minutes

Difficulties in gathering evidence and access to evidence
Lecture content
  • How can difficulties in gathering evidence in cartel damage proceedings be approached? In what ways is the burden of proof eased for the claimant?
  • How can documents of opponents and authorities be used in evidence?
  • What changes does the 9th Amendment of the German Act Against Restraints of Competition (9. GWB Novelle) bring?
Target gorup

Legal practitioners in general, employees without legal expertise

Duration

45-60 minutes

The settlement
Lecture content
  • Strategies for the out-of-court enforcement of cartel damage claims.
  • Which hurdles exist in settlement negotiations?
  • What changes does the 9th Amendment of the German Act Against Restraints of Competition (9. GWB Novelle) bring?
Target group

Legal practitioners in general, employees without legal expertise

Duration

45-60 minutes

 
Supplier and Customer Realtions
Reliable implementation of the EU Geoblocking Regulation

Lecture content

The lecture provides an overview of the amendments of the new EU Geoblocking Regulation and provides assistance and instruction on implementing the new requirements.

Target group

Legal departments, managing directors, distribution

Duration

90 minutes

Selective distribution systems
Lecture content

The lecture handles specific antitrust requirements and potential risks when structuring and implementing selective distribution systems (including exemplary cases).

Target group

Legal practitioners in general, employees without legal expertise, distributors, managing directors

Duration

ca. 120 minutes

Competition law compliance – distribution systems
Lecture content

The workshop is aimed at managing directors, in-house counsel and employees working in distribution and extensively covers the antitrust law requirements for distributing goods and services. In addition to an introductory lecture, the workshop handles exemplary cases which address the specific antitrust risks involved in distribution, as well as giving tips on how to structure contracts and distribution systems.

Target group

Legal practitioners in general, employees without legal expertise, distributors

Duration

One-day workshop

Amazon & Co. – platform bans in German and European antitrust law
Lecture content

The lecture handles the implications and potential risks under antitrust law in connection with the prohibition of internet sales platforms such as Amazon, eBay, etc. in distribution agreements.

Target group

Legal practitioners in general, employees without legal expertise, distributors

Duration

ca. 30 minutes

You’re mine, all mine – antitrust law requirements for exclusivity clauses in distribution contracts
Lecture content

The lecture provides an overview of the antitrust law requirements of exclusivity obligations, restraints of competition and most-favoured-treatment clauses in distribution contracts.

Target group

Antitrust law specialists, legal practitioners in general

Duration

ca.45 minutes

 
Dawn Raids
The cartel authority always rings twice – how do I act when it’s at my door?
Lecture content

The lecture handles the situation of dawn raids conducted by the cartel authorities and gives advice by way of practical examples of correct conduct in such situations. It additionally describes a case study in explanation of the typical further course of events subsequent to a dawn raid by the cartel authorities (leniency application, etc.).

Target group

Legal practitioners in general, managing directors

Dauer

ca. 120 minutes including a case study of antitrust proceedings

 

 
Research and Development
Research & development contracts – antitrust guidelines
Lecture content

The lecture provides an overview of the antitrust law requirements in connection with research & development contracts. It focusses on the correct application of the European Group Block Exemption Regulation for Research & Development.

Target group

Legal practitioners in general, in particular research enterprises, research institutes and universities

Duration

ca. 120 minutes