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Competition

Competition law risk is increasingly a board level issue. All businesses need to focus on its impact on their activities.

Mergers require strategic thought up front, as to structuring and substantive competition risk. Pricing and distribution strategies need to be attuned to potential allegations of dominance. Cartel risk needs to be identified and assessed quickly, but accurately. Practical, and sometimes innovative, solutions need to be found in a fast-moving commercial context.

Our first class team of competition lawyers (awarded Competition Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards in 2020) has extensive experience in helping clients navigate these difficult paths. We have in-depth knowledge of how the competition rules apply in practice across different markets. Our sector focus helps us understand your business environment and get to grips with your issues. 

We can help you devise your business strategies to address these challenges and take advantage of the opportunities they offer. We also have hands-on experience of dealing with the competition authorities and courts, and we work with our CMS network of specialist competition lawyers across the EU and beyond. We're experienced in acting on high-profile competition and dawn raid investigations before the UK and EU competition authorities, and we also deal with sector regulators including ORR, Ofgem, and Ofcom. We regularly advise on day-to-day competition issues including commercial agreements and practices, compliance programmes and provide competition law training and audits.

The CMS Competition Practice Group has more than 225 competition lawyers, making it one of the largest competition teams globally. Our experts provide you with tailor-made advice on competition issues at both the European Union (EU) and national levels, within Europe and across the world.

"I was hugely impressed by the quality of thought, commitment, passion and work ethic with which CMS navigated us through this challenging CMA process. Simply put, they were outstanding. It really does feel like we snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and it feels good."

Martin Forbes, President of Cox Automotive International

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Competition Orange Venus Fly Trap 925x290
Competition Investigations & Raids
With the increase in businesses operating across borders, we understand the need to spot potential competition law issues at an early stage. Increasin
Skyscrapers
Merger Control
Merger control is a vitally important element of many transactions. The early identification of where a transaction needs to be notified, and the inco
Cargo container being placed on top of another
Sanctions & Export Controls
Sanctions and export controls are now a key risk for companies engaged in international trade. The risk of corporate fines and personal criminal liabi
hot air balloon with mountain backdrop
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 is
Law-Now: Com­pet­i­tion
Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary
Ad­vising the Board

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24/05/2022
Spot­light on UK Design Law: Part 3 – ‘Over­lap between copy­right and designs’
The UKIPO re­cog­nises that there is a lack of clar­ity on the ex­tent of over­lap between copy­right and design law, and how they should co-ex­ist. In par­tic­u­lar, the Call for Views notes the un­cer­tainty as...
23/05/2022
Ten key takeaways of the draft re­vi­sion for the EU mer­ger con­trol pro­ced­ure
Fol­low­ing its eval­u­ation of pro­ced­ur­al and jur­is­dic­tion­al as­pects of EU mer­ger con­trol, on 6 May 2022 the European Com­mis­sion pub­lished drafts for a re­vised Mer­ger Im­ple­ment­ing Reg­u­la­tion (in­clud­ing Form...
21/06/2022
The Path to Net Zero for Avi­ation
Join GIIA and CMS, for the second event in our De­car­bon­ising Trans­port Series, to look at the op­por­tun­it­ies and chal­lenges for in­vestors as they seek to de­car­bon­ise the avi­ation in­dustry to meet the Net...
17/05/2022
Spot­light on UK Design Law: Part 2 - Sim­pli­fy­ing the designs sys­tem
The UKIPO re­cog­nises that the cur­rent design frame­work is highly com­plex, in­volving three dif­fer­ent types of un­re­gistered rights (two of which ori­gin­ate from EU law) in ad­di­tion to re­gistered designs...
12/05/2022
10 key as­pects of the re­vised EU com­pet­i­tion law in the field of dis­tri­bu­tion...
The new Ver­tic­al Block Ex­emp­tion Reg­u­la­tion (VBER) and the new ac­com­pa­ny­ing Ver­tic­al Guidelines (VGL) were pub­lished on 10 May 2022. The new VBER will enter in­to force on 1 June 2022 and ap­ply for the...
11/05/2022
The Gen­er­al Court of the EU con­firms the leg­al­ity of the res­cue aid to...
On 4 May 2022, the Gen­er­al Court of the EU con­firmed the leg­al­ity of the Com­mis­sion's de­cision ap­prov­ing res­cue aid of 36.66 mil­lion EUR from Ro­mania to the air­line TAR­OM. It found that the aid was in­deed...
09/06/2022
Pub­lic Aye we­bin­ar: The new UK sub­sidy con­trol re­gime
The Sub­sidy Con­trol Act 2022 re­ceived Roy­al As­sent at the end of April.  In the words of Small Busi­ness Min­is­ter, Paul Scully, the new re­gime is to be, “ro­bust yet agile, al­low­ing pub­lic au­thor­it­ies...
09/05/2022
UKIPO Call for Views on designs re­gime
Spot­light on UK Design Law  Re­view­ing the UK designs frame­work – UKIPO’s Call for Views The leg­al pro­tec­tion of design rights in the UK is no pic­nic. As IP prac­ti­tion­ers and design busi­nesses will...
29/04/2022
UK Sub­sidy Con­trol re­gime: Roy­al As­sent
On 28 April 2022, the Sub­sidy Con­trol Bill re­ceived Roy­al As­sent, form­ally mak­ing the Bill in­to an Act of Par­lia­ment – the Sub­sidy Con­trol Act 2022.  However, as high­lighted in our ho­ri­zon scan­ning...
20/04/2022
New con­sumer pro­tec­tion law an­nounced
Fol­low­ing the Gov­ern­ment’s 2021 Con­sulta­tion Pa­per on po­ten­tial new con­sumer pro­tec­tion re­forms (which we dis­cussed in a pre­vi­ous art­icle), the Gov­ern­ment has, on 20 April 2022, an­nounced sig­ni­fic­ant...
22/03/2022
CMS ad­vises con­sor­ti­um on ac­quis­i­tion of in­terest in Ørsted’s 1.2-GW Hornsea...
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS has ad­vised a con­sor­ti­um com­prised of The Re­new­ables In­fra­struc­ture Group and Equitix on its agree­ment to ac­quire a 12.5% in­terest in the Hornsea One Off­shore Wind Farm from...
18/03/2022
Real es­tate changes in Eco­nom­ic Crime (Trans­par­ency and En­force­ment) Act...
Sum­mary The Eco­nom­ic Crime (Trans­par­ency and En­force­ment) Act (the Act) re­ceived Roy­al As­sent on 15 March 2022. The Act provides for the set­ting up of the Com­pan­ies House re­gister for be­ne­fi­cial own­ers...