Our social market economy is based on the concept that free unimpeded trade between market participants acting in competition is to the wellbeing of all. To give the best possible results, the State should set only the basic framework, leaving the free interplay of market forces to prevail.
The freedom of market participants to compete must also be protected against the imposition of restrictions by the participants themselves; this is the purpose of antitrust law.
Our spectrum of advice
The Germany Antitrust Law Practice Group currently consists of eight lawyers advising clients on all aspects of German and European antitrust law. Advice on European antitrust matters may, depending on individual requirements, be given in close cooperation with our European & Competition Law practice in Brussels. We provide advice to enable our clients to structure their activities in advance so as to avoid conflicts with antitrust laws whilst taking advantage of flexibility afforded by the law.
Antitrust compliance is becoming more complex and costly. Joint investigations of EU and local competition authorities are increasingly frequent and enforcement is becomming more aggressive. As penalties are constantly increasing, cartel members race to self-report antitrust violations and obtain immunity from fines. Baker & McKenzie has the systems and standards to carry out the most complex cross-border compliance strategies. We provide competition law compliance training programs and auditing to clients in all industry sectors. Our team trains on auditing, dawn raids and investigative techniques with the help of, among others, professional training schools and forensic investigators. We also offer online compliance training, customizable by language, industry and jurisdiction. Find out more.
The main focus of our activity is on:
- Assisting with merger control in Germany, Europe and non-EU Member States, in particular determining in which jurisdictions merger notifications are required, preparing and implementing proceedings, negotiating approvals from authorities to meet any antitrust concerns arising in proposed mergers;
- Structuring joint ventures, alliances and co-operation agreements in the light of antitrust law constraints in various jurisdictions, utilizing official safe-havens or making use of exemptions and dispensations;
- Advising in the creation of distribution concepts and their implementation in national, European and global sales and marketing systems through agents, commission agents or distributors, the implementation of exclusive and selective sales systems, franchise or licensing agreements and distribution through Internet platforms;
- Dealing with the civil and regulatory consequences of prohibited behavior, such as obstructions, discriminations or abuses, advising in disputes, including on the application of leniency programs available in various jurisdictions; and
- Advising in the implementation of client or industry specific training of employees to alert them to antitrust issues, drawing up appropriate codes of practice and company guidelines (compliance programs), including the implementation of appropriate responses in the course of official investigations.