Cartel law

»Damages claims under cartel law

We have many years of practical experience in enforcing and defending damages claims under cartel law. In recent years, our solicitors have provided crucial support to a variety of buyers when enforcing damages claims under cartel law, and represented them in important court proceedings. Our solicitors successfully achieved the payment of damages for a number of clients.

 

Besides assertiveness and a flair for (procedural) tactical issues, the successful enforcement and defence of damages claims under cartel law also requires thorough and efficient preparation. Therefore, we promptly identify and resolve existing limitation risks for our clients. Large quantities of data must be collected in such analyses, and we draw on our experience of numerous procedures when doing this.

We support aggrieved market participants by suggesting innovative solutions, whether the case concerns the procurement of information required to substantiate damages claims, the selection of the correct place of jurisdiction and the correct type of claim, issues of coordination and collaboration of several aggrieved parties. We are even well acquainted with the economic and econometric principles of the statistical calculation of cartel damage. In the case of complex issues, we involve accredited economists and statisticians.

»Cartel law for the public sector and public companies

The activities of the public sector and public companies can also be bound to the obligations of cartel law. The foundation of transportation companies or transport associations in the local public transport sector can be subject to merger control; the same applies for mergers of public utility companies or publicly sponsored hospitals.

The purchasing and/or procurement cooperation of the public sector and/or public companies can conflict with cartel prohibitions. Special obligations can also arise from the prohibitions of abuse and discrimination under cartel law. Cartel law also imposes limits on the activities of associations and cooperation with associations. Providing advice to the public sector and public companies on issues relating to cartel law has been a focal point of our legal activities for several years.

»Market dominance

Market-dominating and powerful companies are subject to special cartel law obligations. By performing a thorough analysis of market conditions, we clarify whether or not a market-dominating or powerful position exists. For market-dominating or powerful companies, we develop solutions for implementing strategic decisions in compliance with cartel law. We also provide advice on and support with enforcing supply claims or defending discrimination by market-dominating or powerful companies.

In certain cases, the public sector and its companies can also be bound to the prohibitions of abuse and discrimination under cartel law. Typical examples are the granting of electricity or gas concessions or the granting of rights to marketing on outdoor advertising spaces by councils or public companies. The prohibitions of abuse and discrimination under cartel law frequently have direct effects on the organisation and performance of the tendering and selection process and the creation of contracts. In recent years, councils, public companies and market participants have relied on our solicitors' specific expertise in the interface between cartel law, procurement law and public commercial law.

»Sales systems and contract creation

Cartel law imposes boundaries for the design of sales systems and contracts, research and development contracts, patent and licensing agreements, specialisation and supplier agreements and purchasing and marketing collaborations. We develop sales systems and contract models that comply with cartel law and also incorporate our clients' strategic commercial interests. If necessary, we also defend these before the cartel authorities or courts. Our solicitors have particular practical experience and industry knowledge in the sectors of medicine and medical products, cosmetics, plant construction and also in relation to the brokerage of gambling.

»Merger control

We identify and assess risks relating to cartel law at an early stage during company purchases, mergers and the formation of joint ventures. We support our clients with the strategic planning and performance of merger control proceedings in Germany and the European Union, and also use our expertise in cartel law to support the due diligence process.

We efficiently prepare the necessary declarations to the responsible cartel authorities for our clients. If the merger affects various jurisdictions, we promptly analyse in which countries outside of Germany the merger must be declared.
We jointly coordinate and manage merger control applications in third-party states with our local cooperation partners.

»Cartel sanction procedures

We support private and public companies, executive boards, managing directors and associations in cartel sanction procedures by the German Federal Cartel Agency and the European Commission. Discretion, a personal approach and immediate availability are a matter of course at our firm. We are even at our clients' side during investigations by the cartel authorities; the same applies for internal investigations to perform a detailed determination of the facts and the implementation of amnesty programmes.

We lay the foundations for avoiding sanctions or imposing the lowest possible fines at an early stage. We support and advise our clients when deciding to submit a leniency application with the possibility of a waiver or reduction of the fine, during meetings with the cartel authorities regarding a mutual settlement of the fine proceedings and also in relation to appeals and legal proceedings against decisions to impose fines by the cartel authorities. In all phases of the cartel sanction proceedings, we are mindful of the expenses for buyers associated with defence against buyers' or competitors' civil law damages claims required following completion of the proceedings, and also the expenses associated with the performance of lengthy proceedings by the cartel authorities and courts.