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Antitrust, Competition & Trade

The CMS Antitrust, Competition and Trade (ACT) group is one of the largest specialist competition and trade teams in the world. More than 225 CMS experts advise clients in more than 40 countries worldwide on all ACT matters.

Due to our size and very wide footprint, we are able to deal with all ACT matters irrespective of their geographic dimension. Where necessary we cooperate with long established contacts from our wider network of law firms everywhere in the world.

We are specialists across the full range of Antitrust, Competition and Trade matters. In the last three years alone, we advised clients in more than 750 competition and trade related proceedings. We have expert sub-groups specialising in specific areas within the wider competition and trade field, e.g. for State aid and FDI/Foreign investment screening. We are also well-known as experts in various sectors of the economy. Our renowned sector specialisation encompasses automotive, consumer products/FMCG, construction, digital economy, energy/oil & gas, life sciences, telecommunications/media and transport to name but a few.

Our clients range from many very large multinationals who frequently use our team as their ACT law firm of choice for the entire region (e.g., in Europe), to governments at all levels and also a high number of medium-sized companies.

We use the most up-to-date technical and AI tools to support our business.

We hold a renowned annual EU competition law conference which has become a feature in the Brussels calendar.  We put out regular case law updates on European and international competition and trade developments on our Law Now service.  Our monthly EU law webinars are attended by in house counsel from around the world.  And our group is steered, not just by a management committee of partners but also by an active associates’ group that keeps us innovating to serve clients.

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Abuse of dominance and economic dependence
Competitive conduct of companies with a strong market position is subject to increasing scrutiny and may lead to unwanted regulatory intervention, hig
Competition and cartel investigations
Companies should be alive to the possibility of investigations and fines for anti-competitive behaviour. We defend our clients in cartel and other reg
Compliance
We provide day to day advice in all competition law matters to help clients avoid any conflicts with competition laws. We work closely with our expert
Digital markets
CMS is widely recognised as a leader in providing legal advice to clients from the digital and technology markets. We help companies avoid regulatory
Foreign investment screening
Our broad footprint with CMS offices in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America combined with a very wide network of long-established contacts across a
Foreign subsidies control
e EU intends to extend State aid control to the support of businesses provided by non-EU governments. This new field of law is expected to enter into
General EU law, free movement of goods, services and capital
With our highly specialised expertise in general European law, based mainly in Brussels, we help companies defend their commercial interests in all ma
Horizontal agreements
The line between admissible conduct and infringement can be thin. Our specialists’ expertise covers the full range of horizontal cooperation or
Merger Control
We have a long and extensive track record of advising clients on merger control requirements and representing them in merger control proceedings. Each
Private enforcement
The CMS team acts for claimants and defendants in all competition-related private enforcement matters. Our extensive experience across many cases give
Regulatory
Companies in regulated industries are under constant scrutiny over anti-competitive behaviour. With our in-depth sector specific competition law exper
State aid and EU subsidies
State aid is a constantly developing field of law. The EU and its Member States and many other governments outside the EU have introduced or are about
Trade law and sanctions
In an increasingly challenging international business world, we help companies to remain compliant and keep supply chains moving. With export control
Unfair trading practices (UTP)
We are at the forefront of advising clients in the field of unfair trading practices which is a relatively new field of law in many countries. Whether
Vertical agreements
We give clients confidence in their relationships with suppliers, resellers and customers, online and offline. By reviewing their distribution systems

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12/03/2024
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...
07/03/2024
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...
05/03/2024
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...
22/01/2024
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...
27/11/2023
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...
18/10/2023
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...
10/07/2023
In-depth investigation by the European Commission into Danish and Swedish...
In August 2020, Denmark and Sweden notified the European Commission of their plans to provide support in the form of recapitalisation measures for the airline SAS.As a result of pandemic-related travel...
26/06/2023
Revised guidance on the application of EU State aid rules in the UK post-Brexit
On 9 June 2023, the European Commission (“EC”) adopted a revised Notice on the application of the EU State aid rules to the UK following the end of the Brexit transition period.  On the same day...
01/06/2023
State aid: following appeals by Ryanair, the General Court of the EU annuls...
On 11 May 2023, the General Court of the EU cancelled two European Commission decisions authorizing State aid in the form of capital injections for the airlines SAS and Deutsche Lufthansa, in particular...
18/05/2023
European Commission's public consultation on the extension of operating...
The European Commission has recently submitted for public consultation its draft communication extending the transitional period for operating aid that can be granted to regional airports under the 2014...
13/04/2023
State aid: Italian EUR 400 million loan for Alitalia qualified by the European...
On 27 March 2023, the European Commission concluded that an Italian loan of EUR 400 million granted in 2019 in favour of Alitalia constituted illegal and incompatible aid that has to be reimbursed. Alitalia...
15/03/2023
State aid: revision of GBER and Temporary Crisis Framework to encourage...
On 9 March 2023, the European Commission approved revisions to the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) and the Temporary Crisis Framework with the aim of enabling Member States to provide the necessary...