EU, Competition & Antitrust

Our practice is a market leader, with a history dating back to Greece's accession to the EU and a successful track record of advising in landmark competition and antitrust matters, including merger control cases, cartel investigations and related litigation, concerted and restrictive practices, market and sectoral investigations, abuse of dominance and State aid cases.

Our clients include Greek, foreign and multi-national corporations. We have also advised government bodies on the implementation of the directives liberalising State monopolies and represented Greece in negotiations with the EU on State aid granted to Greek industries.

Our department provides comprehensive advice on all areas of EU law, with unrivalled experience in advising our clients on the EU law aspects of commercial, corporate and banking transactions and analysing the implications of new legislation on their business activities. Our team also has extensive experience in the application of EU public procurement rules, advising both bidders and contracting authorities on the procedures and legal requirements for the award of public contracts. Over the years, we have prepared numerous reports on the implementation of EU law, including regularly working on European Commission studies in a wide range of fields, such as energy and transport.
Competition & Antitrust
Our team has a long-running expertise in cases involving cartels and anticompetitive agreements, representing clients in dawn raids and settlement procedures, as well as preparing applications for leniency. We have been involved in the first case where settlement proceedings were instituted before the Hellenic Competition Commission. We are experienced in antitrust investigations and damages claims, including abuse of dominance cases. We regularly represent clients before the Hellenic and European Competition Authorities in merger filings. We also represent clients before the Administrative Courts on appeals against the Hellenic Competition Commission’s decisions. We have a strong track record in developing merger control and compliance strategies and preparing for merger clearances and State aid approvals. We also have experience in submitting appeals before the European Courts against State aid infringement decisions of the European Commission. We regularly advise on possible antitrust and competition law issues arising in the context of commercial arrangements, including exclusive and selective distribution, franchising, internet sales and information exchange and help clients successfully structure and shape their sales and service networks.

A significant part of our EU, Competition & Antitrust practice is dedicated to assisting clients on an ongoing basis on risk and strategy assessment and regulatory compliance. We advise on compliance strategies and run training programs for investigations by the competition authorities tailored to the individual requirements of our clients. These include designing reaction policies and offering on-site assistance in dawn raids as well as running mock-dawn raids.

We also work extensively with the Firm’s M&A and Privatisations groups in advising on the EU, competition and antitrust aspects of cross-border and cross-section transactions. Our specialisation extends to sector specific experience across a number of highly regulated industry sectors.
Recent Experience
Merger Clearance for the Acquisition of Ethniki Insurance
We assisted CVC in obtaining Phase 1 unconditional clearance from the European Commission for its acquisition of Ethniki Insurance from National Bank of Greece.
Vivartia Acquisition of Hellenic Dough SA and Alesis SA
We advised Vivartia, now part of CVC, in obtaining Phase 1 merger control clearance from the Hellenic Competition Commission in connection with the increase of its stake and acquisition of control over Hellenic Dough SA and Alesis SA, two former joint ventures that are major players in the frozen dough products sector. As part of the transaction, we also coordinated the merger control filings in Austria and Cyprus.
Dodoni SA Acquisition Clearance
We assisted CVC in obtaining Phase 1 merger control clearance from the Hellenic Competition Commission in connection with the indirect acquisition of a majority stake in Dodoni by Venetiko Holdings SMSA, a Greek company invested in by funds advised or managed by CVC, and the entering into a shareholders’ agreement with the previously controlling shareholder of Dodoni.
Motor Oil Hellas Acquisition of Wind Farms
We represented Motor Oil Hellas in obtaining Phase 1 merger clearance from the Hellenic Competition Commission in connection with the acquisition from a leading global investment fund of a portfolio of 12 wind farms with a total capacity of 240MW.
Vivartia Acquisition Clearance
We advised CVC on the competition law aspects of the acquisition of c.99.47% of Vivartia, a leading food production conglomerate, and assisted in obtaining Phase 1 merger clearance from the European Commission.
Hellenic Republic Recovery and Resilience Plan
Together with PwC, we have assisted the Hellenic Republic with the submission of its national resilience plan to the European Commission for approval as part of the EU Recovery and Resilience Fund from a competition law and State aid perspective.
Competition Dispute on Alleged Collusion
We have represented a major oil company before the Athens Administrative Court of Appeals in its appeal against the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC)’s decision relating to its alleged collusion with a company operating in the same sector to fix ratios of discounts offered to petrol station owners on wholesale prices of unleaded petrol, and enforcement proceedings initiated by the HCC and Tax authorities. This has been an ongoing procedure and we were successful in Court overturning the HCC's decision for a second time.
HCC Sector-Inquiry into e-Commerce
We have advised a market leader in electric and electronic devices and a natural cosmetics company on their submissions as part of the Hellenic Competition Commission's ongoing sector inquiry into e-commerce.
Competition Law Advice in Restructuring
We advised an international leading clothes and apparel manufacturer on potential competition law issues, including the requirement of merger control clearance arising in the context of the restructuring of its local business in Greece. We also represent the client's local subsidiary in relation to an investigation by the Hellenic Competition Commission for alleged anticompetitive conduct, as well as in parallel antitrust damages action before the Civil Courts. The Hellenic Competition Commission has ruled in favor of our client, finding that our client has not breached competition law.
Competition Advice to International Watch Manufacturer
We advise an international watch and jewellery manufacturer and its local subsidiary on competition law and antitrust compliance issues, including providing on-site training and support to the local subsidiary. Our work includes representing the client in the context of an investigation by the Hellenic Competition Commission for alleged anti-competitive practices, as well as in relation to parallel antitrust damages litigation proceedings before the Civil Courts. The Hellenic Competition Commission has found no infringement was committed by our client.
Application of Antitrust Rules in Electronics Sector
We provide a market leader in electric and electronic devices with ongoing regulatory and compliance advice, including with respect to the application of antitrust rules to supply issues, pricing and discount policies and assessing the compliance of commercial agreements with competition rules, as well as running a mock dawn raid as part of their overall antitrust awareness and compliance strategy.
Annulment Action against State Aid Decision before the European General Court
We are acting for a leading company in the food and agricultural business sector in the context of an action filed before the European General Court for the annulment of a European Commission State aid infringement decision and are advising in relation to possible recourses of action nationally.
Attica Group Merger Clearance
We have successfully represented the Attica Group, a leader in the provision of international ferry services in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, with respect to the merger clearance procedure before the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) of its acquisition of sole control over Hellenic Seaways, the biggest merger in the maritime sector to have taken place in Greece.
BMW Hellas Competition Law Compliance Advice
We advise BMW Hellas in relation to the structuring and operation of its distribution and service network in Greece, including the compliance of its commercial policy with competition rules and the competition law issues arising in its day-to-day operations.
Competition and Antitrust Advice to Global Biopharmaceutical Company
We advise a global biopharmaceutical company on competition, antitrust and regulatory issues relating to pharmaceutical legislation on an ongoing basis.
European Commission Studies
We have worked with the European Commission as a correspondent law firm in a number of studies including the harmonisation of the sanction systems in the road transport sector, the compensation mechanisms for economic loss suffered by ports and other bodies as a result of accommodating ships in distress, and passenger rights in urban public transport, passenger transport by taxi, hire car with driver and ridesharing, the application of EC Directive 1999/44 on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees (CSGD) in Greece and the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents.