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Competition & European Union

Belgium

Competition and regulatory authorities now possess far-reaching powers to investigate companies and commercial arrangements, prohibit M&A deals, force divestment of merged businesses, review markets and impose penalties or the recovery of illegal aids. There is the additional risk of private enforcement such as substantial (follow-on) antitrust damages claims. Being compliant and implementing effective risk mitigation strategies is key. We focus not only on problem solving but also on how you can avoid problems in the first place. Our large team of competition lawyers has extensive experience in helping navigate these difficult paths so that you can focus on your business. We have in-depth knowledge of competition rules across different countries and markets.

We act for public and private clients in the following areas among others: competition law (abuses of dominant position, cartels, mergers), state aid, EU Litigation, Liberalisation (Energy, transports, Handling, Telecommunications and Utilities), EU Freedoms, Contracts with the European Institutions and European structural funds.

Our team has unrivalled experience, at both European & national level, in these challenging practice areas through regular notifications or complaints to the European Commission or the Belgian Competition Authority or through litigation before the European Courts.

We have advised clients from a wide variety of sectors on regulatory and competition issues, including:

  • Public authorities and public companies
  • Airports and airlines
  • Retail
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Utility companies (electricity, gas, water)
  • Chemicals and pharmaceuticals
  • Telecommunications
  • Logistics and transports
  • Aerospace
  • European and national associations of undertakings

The CMS Competition Group is one of the largest competition teams in Europe and at the same time one of the most widespread. We offer a one-stop-shop solution to clients for all their competition law needs across Europe and beyond. Our sector approach helps us understand your business environment and get to grips with your issues.

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“She has great expertise regarding the national competition authorities in Belgium and is accurate in foreseeing how the authorities will react.”

Feedback from a client, Chambers Europe 2018
European & Com­pet­i­tion Law
16/03/2015
CMS E-Guide to Mer­ger Con­trol

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30/07/2018
EC: Ef­fects of pri­cing al­gorithms in the con­text of re­sale price main­ten­ance
On 24 Ju­ly 2018, the European Com­mis­sion ("Com­mis­sion") im­posed fines on four elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ers for fix­ing the prices of their on­line re­tail­ers. In as­sess­ing the im­pact of re­sale price main­ten­ance, the Com­mis­sion also fo­cused on the use of pri­cing al­gorithms.
19/07/2018
Se­lect­ive dis­tri­bu­tion: Frank­furt court con­firms the leg­al­ity of third-party...
On 12 Ju­ly 2018, the High­er Re­gion­al Court of Frank­furt ruled on the ap­peal pro­ced­ure in the Coty case (No. 11 U 96/14 Kart) and de­cided that the third-party plat­form ban agreed by the lux­ury cos­met­ics man­u­fac­turer Coty in its se­lect­ive dis­tri­bu­tion agree­ment.
13/06/2018
Com­pet­i­tion law and al­gorithms: the Lux­em­bourg Com­pet­i­tion Coun­cil...
Al­gorithms is the hot top­ic in com­pet­i­tion law. In June 2017, the OECD pub­lished a pa­per on the risk of col­lu­sion in the use of al­gorithms. This is­sue has been reg­u­larly ad­dressed by Com­mis­sion­er Vestager in her speeches.
12/06/2018
Ham­burg court ex­tends ECJ's rul­ing on third-party plat­form ban to...
On 22 March 2018, the Hanseat­ic High­er Re­gion­al Court in Ham­burg ruled that a sup­pli­er of food sup­ple­ments and vari­ous toi­letries may pro­hib­it dis­trib­ut­ors from selling its goods over cer­tain on­line sales sites known as third-party plat­forms.
01/06/2018
No gun jump­ing in EY case says ECJ
The Court of Justice of the EU has ruled that Ernst & Young (“EY”) did not jump the gun in the takeover of KP­MG’s Dan­ish unit. In its May 31 rul­ing, the Court of Justice re­af­firmed an earli­er Opin­ion by Ad­voc­ate Gen­er­al Nils Wahl, which could im­pact how “gun.
29/03/2018
Study on Ini­tial Coin Of­fer­ings - New means of fun­drais­ing
At first glance, it is hard to be­lieve and to un­der­stand the claim of en­thu­si­asts that Block­chain tech­no­logy is sup­posed to be com­par­able with the spread of the in­ter­net in the 90s.   It would there­fore be a con­sequence of the tech­nic­al, even dis­rupt­ive in­nov­a­tions.
08/11/2017
Com­pan­ies should be per­mit­ted to mi­grate from one EU mem­ber state...
A com­pany re­gistered in and gov­erned by the laws of one EU mem­ber state should be per­mit­ted to “con­vert” it­self in­to a com­pany gov­erned by the laws of an­oth­er EU mem­ber state, provided it sat­is­fies the rel­ev­ant con­di­tions laid down by the des­tin­a­tion state.
02/11/2017
EU Frame­work for resolv­ing double tax dis­putes
The EU Eco­nom­ic and Fin­an­cial Af­fairs Coun­cil has ad­op­ted a Dir­ect­ive to cre­ate a new sys­tem to re­solve double tax­a­tion dis­putes between EU Mem­ber States. This meas­ure will af­ford tax­pay­ers a trans­par­ent pro­cess with clear dead­lines ap­plic­able to tax au­thor­it­ies.
21/06/2017
The Ver­dict - Round-up of cor­por­ate crime de­vel­op­ments across CMS
We are pleased to send our new is­sue of The Ver­dict, an at-a-glance round-up of re­cent leg­al de­vel­op­ments in re­la­tion to cor­por­ate crime. In this is­sue, the spot­light is on some sig­ni­fic­ant changes to anti-cor­rup­tion laws in the Czech Re­pub­lic, in­clud­ing.
10/02/2017
In­dia Budget 2017 - 2018
On 1 Feb­ru­ary, Fin­ance Min­is­ter Ar­un Jait­ley presen­ted In­dia’s an­nu­al Uni­on Budget for 2017-2018 (the “Budget”) for the fisc­al year be­gin­ning 1 April 2017. The cent­ral aim in this year’s Budget ap­pears to fo­cus on the most vul­ner­able with in­creased spend­ing.
01/12/2016
BEPS Up­date: Mul­ti­lat­er­al In­stru­ment Pub­lished
The OECD has now pub­lished the mul­ti­lat­er­al in­stru­ment (“MLI”) that will im­ple­ment cer­tain of the treaty-re­lated pro­pos­als from its pro­ject on tack­ling base erosion and profit shift­ing (“BEPS”).
28/10/2016
European Com­mis­sion pub­lishes Cor­por­ate Tax Re­form Pack­age, re­launch­ing...
As part of a Cor­por­ate Tax Re­form Pack­age, the EC has pub­lished four pro­pos­als for Coun­cil Dir­ect­ives. 1. Pro­pos­als to re­launch the Com­mon Con­sol­id­ated Cor­por­ate Tax Base First, the European Com­mis­sion (“EC”) has an­nounced that it is re­launch­ing its pro­pos­al.