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Competition & European Union

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.

"CMS has demonstrated great professionalism and quality analysis for complex cases, with solutions and enlightening options."

Feedback from a client about the department, Chambers Europe, 2024

"The CMS team is built on technical abilities and field experience to encompass all dimensions of the issue."

Feedback from a client about the department, Chambers Europe, 2024

"It provided the right balance between rigorous and technical analysis and a hands-on approach driven towards results."

Feedback from a client about the department, Chambers Europe, 2024

"The CMS team's responses are excellent, swift and to the point. It offers practical advice."

Feedback from a client about the department, Chambers Europe, 2024

"CMS is very aware of the commercial environment in which its clients exist and tailors its advice to the needs of the client."

Feedback from a client about the department, Chambers Europe, 2024

"Really satisfied with the approach and results of the team."

Feedback from a client about the department - Legal 500, 2024

"Excellent team with great availability."

Feedback from a client about the department - Legal 500, 2024

"CMS was perfect - the lawyers were patient, they listened to us and were flexible."

Competition client - Chambers Europe, 2023

"The lawyers are top-notch when it comes to discussing details about the case," says one interviewee, noting: "It is clear they work hand in hand with the junior staff. It is a good experience to speak with high-level partners who make you feel that they really know the case."

Feedback from a client about the department - Chambers Europe, 2022

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State Aid
What is State aid?. State aid is a highly technical area of EU law and has generated a wide range of evolving case law. Compliance with State aid rule
European & Competition Law
Our team is led by Annabelle Lepièce and Dirk Van Liedekerke. Romain Alderweireldt, Joëlle Froidmont, Alexis Laes, Matthieu van Lierde, Nawal Bouz­in­ab-Chuit­ar, Nissim Picard, Mateusz Rys, Marie Vandenneucker...
CMS Competition & EU Global Brochure
The CMS Competition & EU Group is one of the largest competition teams in Europe and offers you the most widespread pan-European coverage. With more than 225 competition lawyers based in 35 countries...


After EU Commission's first decision on Carbon Contracts for Difference,...
The European Commission approved the first Carbon Contracts for Difference (CCfD) scheme under the new Guidelines on State aid for climate, environmental protection and energy 2022 (CEEAG).Fol­low­ing the...
Practical guidance on how to assess the existence of aid for risk financing...
On 26 January 2024, the Commission adopted practical guidance for Member States on assessing the existence of State aid for measures aimed at facilitating access to financing for certain busi­nesses.Risk...
Belgian Competition Authority publishes study on consumer goods price trends...
Since 2013, the Belgian Competition Authority (the "BCA") has been mandated with additional jurisdiction over competition and price trends.Book V of the Code of Economic Law provides for a system in which:the...
European Commission authorises EUR 550 million Italian hydrogen aid scheme
On 30 January 2024, the European Commission authorised an Italian hydrogen aid scheme with a budget of EUR 550 million under the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework.The Green Deal industrial planThe...
State aid: The European Commission approves an Italian aid scheme for the...
On 15 January 2024, the European Commission approved a EUR 120 mil­lion Italian aid scheme for all airlines establishing new connections between one of the three airports in Calabria, namely Tito Minniti...
Belgian Competition Authority sanctions Le Creuset for resale price maintenance
On 13 December 2023, the Belgian Competition Authority imposed a fine of EUR 490,112 to the cookware retailer Le Creuset Benelux for imposing resale prices on its distributors.The Belgian Competition...
Belgian Competition Authority confirms jurisdiction over hospital mergers
Until recently, the hospital sector has escaped the attention of the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA).When the Belgian legislator, through the law of 28 February 2019 required hospitals to create loc­al-re­gion­al...
Revision of the European rules applying to de minimis aid
The Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to de minimis aid (“de min­imis Reg­u­la­tion”)...
State aid: Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework extended
The European Commission has adjusted the timetable for phasing out the provisions of the State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework after sending Member States this proposal for partial adjustment...
Belgian Competition Authority closes investigation on alleged gentlemen’s...
In August 2023, the Belgian State decided to organise, via the Federal Debt Agency, a subscription to a State treasury bond in the face of low savings rates offered by banks. Although interests rates...
State aid: The Court of Justice of the EU annuls the judgment of the General...
The European Commission's decision of 31 July 2017  On 7 April 2017, Germany notified the Commission of its plan to grant operating aid to Frankfurt-Hahn airport to cover the deficit of its operator...
FSR and public pro­cure­ment/con­ces­sion procedures – Be Prepared
On 12 October 2023, the notification and declaration obligation for public procurement and concessions procedures under the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) and its implementing Regulation comes into...