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, online 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
Intrakat Acquisition Clearance
We advised Intrakat on obtaining unconditional merger control clearance from the Hellenic Competition Commission and thereafter on the successful completion of its acquisition of 100% of Aktor, a landmark transaction in the Greek constructions market.
Merger Clearance Advise in the Maritime Sector
We successfully represented Attica Group and ANEK in the merger clearance procedure before the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) in relation to the merger by absorption of ANEK by Attica Group and the repayment by the post-merger entity of ANEK's loan obligations to its creditors. The HCC unanimously approved the merger under the failing firm defence. This is a landmark decision as it is the first case to be approved under the failing firm defence by the HCC. We have previously successfully advised Attica Group with respect to the merger clearance procedure before the HCC of its acquisition of sole control over Hellenic Seaways.
Acquisition Clearance of Med Frigo Group
We advised an international investor on their participation in the acquisition of Med Frigo Group, which operates and provides integrated services in national and international transportation and cold chain logistics. We advised on the structuring of the transaction and assisted in obtaining the necessary merger clearance from the Hellenic Competition Commission.
Clearance for the Acquisition of Ethniki Insurance
We assisted CVC in obtaining Phase 1 unconditional merger clearance from the European Commission for its acquisition of Ethniki Insurance from National Bank of Greece.
Competition Litigation
We are advising a financial services company on competition law issues relating to a claim for damages and relief in relation to losses from anti-competitive arrangements for ATM transactions. These arrangements are part of the rules set by Mastercard and Visa for acquirers and ATM operators.
HCC Ongoing Investigation
We are assisting an eyewear distributor in relation to an ongoing investigation carried out by the Hellenic Competition Commission following a complaint.
Motor Oil Acquisition of Thalis ES SA
We have represented Motor Oil in obtaining Phase 1 merger clearance from the Hellenic Competition Commission in relation to the acquisition of 100% of Thalis ES SA, a company active in the waste management and electricity sectors.
Liability Rules and Sanctions under Competition Law
We are advising a licensed payment institution in relation to certain aspects of their business in Greece, including liability rules and sanctions under Greek competition law rules.
Motor Oil Acquisition of ELIN VERD
We have represented Motor Oil in obtaining Phase 1 merger clearance from the Hellenic Competition Commission in connection with the acquisition of 100% of ELIN VERD, a company active in the Greek biodiesel sector.
Competition Law Advice for MBC Group's Investment in Antenna Greece
We advised MBC Group on the competition law aspects of their €225m investment in Antenna Greece BV, the parent company of Antenna TV and Makedonia TV, including merger clearance conditions.
HCC Investigation into Banking Services
We are advising the Greek subsidiary of a financial technology solutions and payments provider group in relation to client’s submissions to the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) as part of the HCC’s ex officio investigation into the provision of banking services.
Advice on Antitrust Compliance of Distribution Network
We are advising a natural cosmetics company on competition law issues on an ongoing basis, including the operation of its distribution network in Greece and abroad in accordance with antitrust rules taking into account EU legislative and case-law developments, including providing onsite antitrust training to the client.
Competition Law Damages Claim
We represent a multinational company in follow-on damages claim for breach of competition law brought against it by the Greek State.
HCC Ex Officio Investigation
We are advising the Greek subsidiary of a leading global supplier of technology and services, assisting them in the context of an ex officio investigation by the Hellenic Competition Commission and providing them onsite compliance training.
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.
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.
Annulment Action against State Aid Decision before the European General Court
We have acted 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. We are also advising the client in relation to possible recourses of action nationally.
Dodoni 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.
Competition Dispute on Alleged Collusion
We successfully represented (for a second time) 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, as well as in enforcement proceedings initiated by the HCC and the Greek Tax authorities.
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.
Competition Law Advice in Restructuring
We advised an international leading clothes and apparel manufacturer on potential competition law issues, including the requirement for merger control clearance arising in the context of the restructuring of its local business in Greece. We have also represented the client's local subsidiary in relation to an investigation by the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) for alleged anticompetitive conduct, as well as in parallel antitrust damages action before the Civil Courts. The HCC has ruled in favour of our client, finding that our client has not breached competition law. The Civil Courts have also rejected the claim against our client, both at first and second instance.
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.