EU Competition Law
Competition law is a cornerstone of the EU internal market and compliance is essential.
The Treaty on the Functioning of the EU prohibits anti-competitive agreements that have an anti-competitive object, notably cartel agreements between competitors that involve price-fixing, market sharing or output agreements.
However, competition law also prohibits agreements that have an anti-competitive effect, meaning that it affects all aspects of commercial agreements such as distribution and licensing agreements. In addition, the Treaty prohibits dominant enterprises from engaging in abusive market practices.
The European Commission and national competition authorities have wide-ranging powers of investigation which includes the right to conduct unannounced dawn raids on business premises. The competition authorities can impose fines of up to 10% of annual turnover for the most serious infringements. Courts can also declare agreements to be unenforceable and award damages for infringements of competition law. For this reason, competition law compliance is a vital part of a successful commercial strategy.
Benoît Keane is a specialist in European competition law. He provides practical advice on all aspects of competition law including its application to commercial agreements, licensing agreements, professional regulations, distribution agreements and market dominance. He assists in particular trade associations which require independent counsel. He represents parties in competition cases before the European Commission as well as before the EU Courts.
- Distribution and technology licensing agreements
- Restrictive practices
- Market conduct by dominant undertakings
- Handling complaints before Commission
- State aid advice