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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.

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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

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    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 rules is therefore an issue in any public intervention that involves State resources. State aid issues are usually quite complex, requiring a high level of expertise, in-depth knowledge and pragmatism. CMS has a dedicated team of legal specialists to advise on State aid-related matters.

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    06 September 2017
    European & Com­pet­i­tion Law
    Our team is led by An­na­belle Lepièce and Dirk Van Liedekerke. Ro­main Alder­weireldt, Joëlle Froid­mont, Alex­is Laes, Hanne Baey­ens, Raphaël Fleis­cher, Mat­thieu van Lierde, Kim Gil­lade and Mar­guer­ite...
    July 2019
    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...


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    12 April 2021
    EU Di­git­al Ser­vices Act gives new leg­al frame­work for plat­form eco­nomy
    The European Com­mis­sion has is­sued the draft pro­pos­al for the Reg­u­la­tion on a Single Mar­ket for Di­git­al Ser­vices (Di­git­al Ser­vices Act or DSA), which cre­ates a new leg­al frame­work for di­git­al ser­vices...
    06 April 2021
    EU is­sues draft of Di­git­al Mar­kets Act aimed at cre­at­ing a new and fair...
    The European Com­mis­sion has pub­lished a draft pro­pos­al for a new com­pet­i­tion law frame­work for large on­line plat­forms, called the Di­git­al Mar­kets Act (DMA). The Com­mis­sion pro­posed the DMA due to the...
    17 March 2021
    Pri­or­it­ies of the Bel­gian Com­pet­i­tion Au­thor­ity for 2021
    On 10 March 2021, the Bel­gian Com­pet­i­tion Au­thor­ity is­sued its an­nu­al com­mu­nic­a­tion set­ting out its policy pri­or­it­ies for the cur­rent year. This pub­lic­a­tion, which has ex­is­ted since 2014, ex­plains how...
    09 March 2021
    New com­pet­i­tion tools for di­git­al mar­kets – Ger­man com­pet­i­tion law vs....
    After the new Ger­man com­pet­i­tion law came in­to ef­fect in Janu­ary 2021, ma­jor di­git­al plat­forms are now af­fected by art­icle 19a of the Ger­man Com­pet­i­tion Act. Un­der art­icle 19a, the Ger­man com­pet­i­tion...
    19 February 2021
    EU Gen­er­al Court dis­misses Ry­anair's ac­tions against French and Swedish...
    On 17 Feb­ru­ary 2021, the Gen­er­al Court con­firmed the leg­al­ity of the European Com­mis­sion's de­cisions ap­prov­ing the French and Swedish aid schemes in fa­vour of their air­lines. These two schemes, in­tro­duced...
    GCR Know-how - State Aid: Bel­gi­um
    State aid ex­pert, An­na­belle Lepièce, provides an­swers to leg­al ques­tions about State aid in this Q&A by GCR (Glob­al Com­pet­i­tion Re­view).Read the Q&A here.
    26 January 2021
    European Com­mis­sion ap­proves an aid of 73 mil­lion EUR in fa­vour of Al­it­alia
    On 29 Decem­ber 2020, the European Com­mis­sion au­thor­ised an Itali­an aid of 73.02 mil­lion EUR in fa­vour of Al­it­alia. The ob­ject­ive of this meas­ure is to com­pensate for the dam­age suffered by the Itali­an...
    26 January 2021
    European Com­mis­sion clears Greek aid for Ae­gean Air­lines
    On 23 Decem­ber 2020, the European Com­mis­sion au­thor­ised Greek aid of 120 mil­lion EUR, in the form of a dir­ect grant to the air­line com­pany Ae­gean Air­lines.   This aid aims to com­pensate the air­line for...
    19 January 2021
    New GDPR strategy to tackle new tech­no­logy, data se­cur­ity, in­ter­na­tion­al...
    The European Data Pro­tec­tion Board (EDPB) pub­lished its GDPR Strategy 2021-2023 on 5 Janu­ary 2021, set­ting out four main pil­lars and key ac­tions, which in­clude: Pil­lar 1: Ad­van­cing har­mon­isa­tion and...
    13 January 2021
    European Gen­er­al Court con­firms that re­course to CAS ar­bit­ra­tion un­der...
    In its judg­ment of 16 Decem­ber 2020, the European Gen­er­al Court de­cides that the European Com­mis­sion was not en­titled to con­sider that the ar­bit­ra­tion rules of the In­ter­na­tion­al Skat­ing Uni­on (ISU), which...
    22 December 2020
    The Gen­er­al Court of The European Uni­on is­sues its judg­ment in the In­ter­na­tion­al...
    In­tro­duc­tion On 16 Decem­ber 2020, the Gen­er­al Court of the European Uni­on (the “Gen­er­al Court”) is­sued its judg­ment in the In­ter­na­tion­al Skat­ing Uni­on case. The Gen­er­al Court con­firmed that the ISU’s...
    17 December 2020
    European green light for sup­port meas­ures in fa­vour of Bornholm air­port
    On 27 Novem­ber 2020, the European Com­mis­sion au­thor­ised the ex­ten­sion un­til 2023 of the pub­lic ser­vice com­pens­a­tion of EUR 3.5 mil­lion per year for Bornholm Air­port in Den­mark fol­low­ing an of­fi­cial no­ti­fic­a­tion...