THE PRACTICE

COMPETITION & REGULATION​

Competition & Regulation

Vogel & Vogel regularly assists its clients with their merger transactions in France and Europe. The firm has succeeded in obtaining clearance without commitments for numerous merger transactions, particularly in the distribution sector. The firm also defends the interests of its clients as third parties, to assert their objections in merger transactions.

Vogel & Vogel advises businesses in connection with vertical or horizontal restrictive agreements. The firm guides its clients when they wish to ensure that their conduct is lawful and assists them in the event of a Statement of Objections.

Undertakings that are dominant on a market are subject to particular constraints because of their importance on the market in question. Vogel & Vogel advises its clients taking these constraints into account.

Vogel & Vogel also advises economic operators in bringing complaints against the actions of a competitor before the relevant Competition Authority.

Despite the principle of the free negotiability of agreements, there are many rules relating to price transparency and commercial cooperation.

Vogel & Vogel assists its clients in the negotiation and drafting of their general terms and conditions of sale and their single commercial agreements, so that they comply with the rules applicable to commercial negotiation. The firm has a proven track record in all litigation relating to restrictive practices, particularly in relation to the termination of established commercial relations, delisting, significant imbalance or price fixing, and referrals to the relevant competition authorities.

We regularly assist undertakings that are subject to checks on compliance with payment deadlines.

The electricity, telecommunications, audiovisual, energy and online gaming sectors are governed by specific rules. These rules raise new and diverse issues, such as price squeezes, the regulation of pricing practices and obligations to provide access to infrastructures.

Vogel & Vogel represents economic operators operating in these “deregulated markets”, both as advisers and in litigation before the regulatory authorities and appeal courts. The firm frequently appears before the CORDIS of the Commission de Régulation de l’Energie (CRE), the ARCOM or the ARCEP, particularly in the context of dispute settlement procedures.

Vogel & Vogel is an acknowledged specialist in all matters relating to state aid.

The firm regularly assists undertakings wishing to ensure the legality of funding received (in particular by notifying the European Commission of the aid) or, conversely, undertakings complaining of the illegality of such aid.

Vogel & Vogel supports its clients during searches by the Competition Authority, the DGCCRF or the European Commission, and immediately sends its lawyers to ensure that the procedure is compliant and that the rights of the defense are upheld. The Vogel & Vogel network is able to provide assistance to undertakings throughout the region in the event of inspections and seizures carried out at local offices.

The firm also acts for its clients in litigation arising from such searches and seizures.

Vogel & Vogel regularly offers its clients specific competition law compliance training (compliance programmes) and competition audits within undertakings. It implements, updates and monitors undertakings’ compliance programmes.

Vogel & Vogel handles both individual and group civil competition actions. The firm has developed significant expertise in private enforcement, both in defense and as plaintiff, following competition law infringements.

The use of criminal law and criminal proceedings is becoming a strategic focus of competition law in France. Vogel & Vogel assists its clients both in criminal proceedings involving competition law and in any subsequent proceedings before the Competition Authority.

Our major cases

Vogel & Vogel has:

• defeated the JC Decaux/Metrobus merger

• obtained an award of EUR 400 million in damages for competitive harm within one year

• obtained exoneration of its clients in the toy, car, Stade de France and television advertising cases

• obtained the highest sentence for gun-jumping ever handed down in France

• obtained the first judgment for non-compliance with merger commitments

• Vogel & Vogel is currently handling nearly 300 cases as a defendant in actions for damages for alleged anticompetitive practices.

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