Competition Lawyer in Germany

Legal Solutions Made in Germany

in Germany

Legal Solutions Made in Germany

The competition lawyers at Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte provide competition law services to our national and international clients. From our offices in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Aachen, we help our clients worldwide with the German and European legal systems. This page will outline our services in competition law and highlight some of the rules and regulations of antitrust & competition law in Germany.

Should you require more personalised legal advice concerning a specific competition law case, contact us today. Once contact has been made, our lawyers can start the critical analysis of your case and provide you with the legal representation you deserve.

German and European Competition & Antitrust Regulations

German antitrust and competition law is designed to prevent price-fixing, anti-competitive practices and abusing dominant positions within the marketplace. Its aim is to create fairness in the market, to the benefit of the consumer and new firms entering the competition.

Firms operating in Germany should consult with expert competition lawyers regularly to ensure that they are not in conflict with German and European antitrust regulations. Preventing cartels is seen as an important part of the work of the European Union. In Germany, this legal area is regulated by the German Restraints of Competition Act. It works alongside European Union legislation on the issue such as Article 101 Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. This Act is quite detailed as it outlines the law relating to competition law and how cases are legislated for, the appeal process and what is meant by firms abusing their dominant position within the market.

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, we provide clarity regarding practices that could be considered anti-competitive. Our lawyers provide their expertise to companies when it comes to mergers and acquisitions and in other business transactions.

Abuse of Dominant Position and Other Competition Law Investigations

German and European competition and antitrust law do not allow for the abuse of a dominant position. The German authorities have prohibited specific practices that threaten effective competition. Such prohibitions can even extend to actions used to attain a dominant market position and those involving markets where they do not have a dominant position.

Under German legislation, a company can be considered “dominant” where it does not have substantial competition or has a prominent market position. Determining whether these factors are in place is decided on a case-by-case basis where the company is assessed in an overall appraisal of all criteria relevant for competition. German antitrust and competition law does not base its definition on specified market shares. Instead, determining factors include the availability of appropriate resources for competition, barriers to market entry, switching costs for customers and the buying power of the opposite market side.

The abuse of dominance arises when the company’s practices are considered discriminatory against other businesses or impede their competition opportunities. Actions that may amount to the abuse of a dominant position include predatory pricing, exclusive dealing, loyalty rebates, calling for a boycott of third parties and refusal to deal.

The Bundeskartellamt has the power to act against abusive conduct. It can do so by taking administrative proceedings against the company and then ordering that the abusive behaviour be discontinued. They can also impose fines on companies that are found guilty.

    Antitrust & Competition Law Litigation

    At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our litigators are ready to defend you in cases of anitrust. Our team uses their extensive litigation experience to provide strategic advice to our clients around Germany. Our lawyers are ready to defend your company against accusations of cartel activity, challenge alleged breaches of German and European competition law, advise your company regarding appealing decisions made by national competition and regulatory authorities. Furthermore, our team is ready to support in matters such as investigations, criminal prosecutions and business crime cases, lawsuits brought by regulatory agencies and state bodies, and internal investigations to respond to whistleblower complaints.

    As a full-service law firm, the legal team at Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte utilise their legal knowledge across legal fields to develop defence strategies tailored to your situation.

    Cartel Activity Accusations: Legal Advice and Defence

    The Act Against Restraints of Competition outlines in § 1 GWB that it is against cartel activities. The goal of such activities is defined under the Act as the following:

    Agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings and concerted practices which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition are prohibited.

    Should your company face an investigation due to an accusation of a cartel, it is advisable to contact our competition lawyers. During such an investigation, companies can face serious disruptions which they must be prepared for. Among the actions which the authorities can take during this time are the following:

    • Compulsory interviews,
    • Unannounced searches of premises
    • Demands for certain documents,
    • Seizure of electronic devices.

    Should a company be found liable for cartel activity they can face huge fines. The amount fined will depend on the case’s facts with major sanctions reaching a maximum of 10% of worldwide turnover from the previous year. Liability can also lead to major fines on the individuals involved.

      Compliance, Whistleblowing & Competition Law Counseling

      By working with the antitrust and competition lawyers at Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our team can provide the support needed to enable your business to succeed. Our competition lawyers will utilise their knowledge to aid your company to accomplish their goals, and highlight activity that may constitute an antitrust law risk. Engaging with our lawyers and establishing an open dialogue, means that we can examine the desired outcome from all angles and focus on delivering solutions that will mitigate the risk as much as possible. Our lawyers will deliver such advice in a transparent manner with focused and effective recommendations.

      Our compliance team provides risk assessme