EU Competition and State Aid Law

VVGB’s EU Competition and State aid team has extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of EU and national competition law, ranging from cartels and abuse of dominance to merger clearance and State aid. We have developed a thorough understanding of the workings of the European Commission and the Belgian and Dutch competition authorities, enhanced through high-level contacts. In addition, we have a rich competition litigation practice with lawyers who frequently appear before the European and national courts.

Cartel investigations and complaints

Clients – companies and individuals –  seek VVGB to represent them in cartel investigations. We handle cartel cases, from the launch of investigations by means of a dawn raid to advising on leniency applications and defending our clients’ interests during investigations. We also advise on complaints about cartel infringements to the European Commission and national competition authorities.

Abuse of dominant position

We act for companies under investigation in abuse of dominant position proceedings before the European Commission and national competition authorities, involving issues like excessive pricing, discriminatory pricing, discriminatory discounts and rebates, and refusal to supply customers, to give access to essential facilities, or to license intellectual property. We also act for companies that want to stop abusive behavior that is harming their business.

Compliance

We help our clients to develop competition compliance programs and train their personnel to minimize the risk of exposure to competition law violations. We custom design compliance programs for specific situations of our clients, deliver seminars to educate employees about compliance programs, perform competition audits and make sure that our clients’ compliance programs are working.

Competition Litigation

We assist our clients in competition litigation cases. We represent clients in actions for damages and injunctions for breaches of competition law. We also act for clients in appeals against infringement decisions of the European Commission and national competition authorities before the EU courts in Luxembourg and, respectively, the national courts.

Merger Control

We determine whether business transactions must be notified to the European Commission or national competition authorities. We also handle EU and national merger filings and act as coordinating counsel with respect to multi-jurisdictional merger control filings.

Commercial arrangements

We provide guidance to EU-based and foreign companies on a variety of competition issues that arise in their daily business affairs. We also advise trade associations and joint ventures to ensure that they comply with EU and national competition law.

State aid

We advise EU-based and foreign companies and governments on the implications of subsidies provided by Member States or the EU. We represent clients before the courts in cases involving illegally granted subsidies.

Public procurement

We advise on diverse and complex public procurement law questions, e.g. whether the public procurement rules apply or which particular type of public procurement procedure can or needs to be followed. We also assist public entities and private parties in litigation on the application of the public procurement rules.