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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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    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 So­ete com­plete the team of highly ded­ic­ated and ex­per­i­enced pro­fes­sion­als with a pas­sion for their work.The European and Com­pet­i­tion law team provides a full range of ser­vices in the fol­low­ing areas:Com­pet­i­tion lawState aidEU freedomsLit­ig­a­tion be­fore the EU courtsTo find out more about how we can help you with mat­ters re­lat­ing to European and Com­pet­i­tion law, down­load our bro­chure be­low.
    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 180 com­pet­i­tion law­yers based in 34 coun­tries, our com­pet­i­tion prac­tice is a one-stop solu­tion for cli­ents across Europe and bey­ond through our strong and grow­ing teams in China, Lat­in Amer­ica and Africa. Today’s CMS law­yers are con­tinu­ing a suc­cess­ful track re­cord of more than 50 years’ ex­per­i­ence, cov­er­ing hun­dreds of com­pet­i­tion law cases in­clud­ing many land­mark cases by the EU and na­tion­al courts and com­pet­i­tion au­thor­it­ies.


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    The EU Court of Justice cla­ri­fies trans­par­ency of flight prices
    08 April 2020
    CMS Ex­pert Guide to State Aid Dur­ing Coronavir­us Crisis
    Any busi­ness in the world could be af­fected by the coronavir­us (COV­ID-19) pan­dem­ic. For many, ur­gent meas­ures need to be taken to avoid ser­i­ous fin­an­cial con­sequences as a res­ult of these chal­len­ging and un­pre­ced­en­ted times. Against this back­drop, gov­ern­ments are in­tro­du­cing new meas­ures to provide dir­ect fin­an­cial and non-fin­an­cial sup­port to busi­nesses of all sizes. Any such meas­ures need to com­ply with EU State Aid law and many will re­quire ap­prov­al by the EU Com­mis­sion.
    02 June 2020
    Mer­gers: European Com­mis­sion opens in-depth in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to Air Canada's...
    On 25 May 2020, the European Com­mis­sion de­cided to open an in-depth in­vest­ig­a­tion un­der the EU Mer­ger Reg­u­la­tion in­to the ac­quis­i­tion of Transat by Air Canada. The Com­mis­sion is con­cerned that the ac­quis­i­tion...
    15 May 2020
    We­bin­ar re­cord­ings - Cov­id-19 (Coronavir­us) in Bel­gi­um
    27 March 2020
    CMS Ex­pert Guide to Com­pet­i­tion Law Dur­ing Coronavir­us Crisis
    19 May 2020
    COV­ID-19: European Com­mis­sion’s over­view of State rules and pub­lic ser­vice...
    On 14 May 2020, the European Com­mis­sion pub­lished a work­ing pa­per on the in­ter­pret­a­tion of State aid and pub­lic ser­vice ob­lig­a­tions in the avi­ation sec­tor in the con­text of the COV­ID-19 crisis This...
    COV­ID-19: EU green light to French aid scheme for its air­lines
    25 April 2018
    CMS Ex­pert Guide to Mer­ger Con­trol in Europe
    Find here an over­view of the main mer­ger con­trol rules at EU level and in all European coun­tries. The rules are ex­plained in each case by ref­er­ence to spe­cif­ic ques­tions.
    18 May 2020
    COV­ID-19: European Com­mis­sion au­thor­ises EUR 550 mil­lion Ger­man state-guar­an­teed...
    At the end of April 2020, the European Com­mis­sion au­thor­ised a pub­lic loan guar­an­teed by the Ger­man State for an amount of EUR 550 mil­lion in fa­vour of Condor, a Ger­man charter com­pany, un­der the European...
    The European Com­mis­sion’s sur­vey on air pas­sen­ger rights
    13 May 2020
    COV­ID-19: European Com­mis­sion ap­proves Wal­lon guar­an­tee scheme 
    The first Bel­gian aid schemes no­ti­fied since the start of the COV­ID-19 crisis have been ap­proved by the European Com­mis­sion. On 9 April 2020 the Com­mis­sion au­thor­ised a state guar­an­tee scheme to sup­port...
    CMS as­sisted French group Boulanger with the ac­quis­i­tion of Krëfel group