EUROPEAN COMPETITION LAW

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati's Brussels office assists businesses with their most important competition law matters. As part of an integrated global antitrust group that is widely recognized as one of the world's leading practices, our European competition team regularly represents clients in matters before the European Commission, as well as the national competition authorities and courts in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The firm's European competition practice offers clients at every stage of their life cycle the full range of competition law services both at the EU level and in the major Member States. In those jurisdictions where we do not have offices, our network of long-established relationships with leading local practices allows us to coordinate all aspects of our clients' competition law needs.

Our Brussels-based competition lawyers—many of whom trained in both European jurisdictions and the United States—have advised on some of the most complex cross-border transactions and investigations, representing blue-chip clients such as Air France-KLM, BMW, Chevron, Dell, Dolby, Glencore, Google, Hitachi Chemical, K+S Aktiengesellschaft, Live Nation, Mylan, ÖBB, and Spotify on the full spectrum of competition law issues, including the following:

Merger Control

The European competition team members, who work closely with their U.S. colleagues on parallel merger control reviews carried out by the European and the U.S. antitrust agencies, have significant experience advising clients under the EU Merger Regulation and the national merger control regimes in Europe's major jurisdictions. In addition to advising parties to the transaction, we counsel interested third parties such as complainants in merger reviews.

Cartel Investigations

Our attorneys have extensive experience advising clients at all stages of cartel investigations (including, most recently, representations in the EU's biofuels, capacitors, forex, and rail cargo investigations) until the adoption of a decision, and thereafter in the preparation of litigation and appearance at court. We also advise third parties such as trade associations and customers of alleged cartels with respect to investigations and litigation.

Horizontal and Vertical Agreements

Our Brussels-based lawyers regularly counsel clients on the application of Article 101 TFEU to complex horizontal and vertical commercial agreements, including joint ventures, strategic alliances, distribution agreements, pricing and licensing agreements, joint marketing agreements, and R&D agreements. We also assist in the preparation of self-assessments and advise on the operation of sophisticated information exchange systems between competitors.

Abuse of Dominance

We have extensive expertise in unilateral conduct issues under Article 102 TFEU. Our services have included counseling corporations that may be found to hold a dominant market position, defending targets of investigations by competition authorities, and representing complainants in such investigations. Furthermore, we frequently provide counseling in relation to potential Article 102 issues, such as the design and implementation of compliant rebate schemes.

State Aid

Our Brussels office assists clients from a range of industries on a variety of state aid matters, including the representation of state aid beneficiaries in their appeals of negative decisions issued by the European Commission before the European courts in Luxembourg.

National Competition Laws

An integral feature of our European competition law capability is our role as an advisor on matters subject to review by the national competition authorities of France, Germany, and the UK. Furthermore, our attorneys coordinate the provision of competition law advice in other jurisdictions in cooperation with experienced local counsel, serving as sole client contacts and thereby offering a "one-stop shop" in major international transactions and investigations.

Litigation

WSGR's strength in competition litigation rests on a sophisticated understanding of our clients' businesses and technologies and our ability to execute creative and aggressive responses to the challenges they face. In addition to a successful track record in national civil law actions brought in the major Member States, our attorneys have significant experience in EU competition law cases litigated before the European courts in Luxembourg.