Competition & Regulation

Jolling de Pree
Bart de Rijke
Helen Gornall
+ 40 other experts

Strategic competition advice for multinational clients, globally

… in enforcement actions and transactions, with an emphasis on Europe. Active across almost the entire spectrum of Competition and Regulatory law, our large, integrated Amsterdam/Brussels-based team handles multiple complex matters in parallel fashion.

We have experience in obtaining clearance of complex merger control cases involving potential remedies before the European Commission and other competition agencies worldwide. Our team has handled many high-profile, data-intensive cartel cases before the European Commission, and has a track record of getting fines annulled before the European Courts.

We have extensive experience of taking the lead in cross-border matters with tight cost control measures in place, and efficiently coordinate merger filings, often in numerous jurisdictions, worldwide. We are involved in all pending civil cartel damage actions in the Netherlands, and work closely together with our civil litigation specialists to assist our clients in their most complex matters.


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Recent Matters

15 June 2021

Parcom and founders sell majority stake in GoodHabitz to Prosus

De Brauw advised Parcom and GoodHabitz's founders on the sale of a majority stake in GoodHabitz to Prosus. GoodHabitz is a fast-growing provider of online-training for the corporate market with eight offices throughout Europe.
10 June 2021

Kloosterboer Group acquired by Lineage Logistics

De Brauw assisted the Kloosterboer family on the sale of Kloosterboer Group to Lineage Logistics. Lineage Logistics, one of the world’s leading and most innovative temperature-controlled industrial REIT and logistics solution providers, reached agreement to acquire the Dutch family-owned Kloosterboer Group, a leading independent integrated platform for temperature-controlled storage, logistics and value-added services in Europe.The Kloosterboer family will continue to be involved in the Kloosterboer Group, becoming investors in Lineage and rolling a part of their sale proceeds into Lineage equity.The transaction is subject to regulatory clearance and completion of the employee consultation process.
9 April 2021

Ørsted brings in Norges Bank Investment Management as a partner in Borssele 1 & 2

De Brauw's multi-disciplinary energy group, together with Slaughter and May, assisted Danish developer Ørsted in the sale of 50% of its ownership share of the 752 MW Borssele 1 & 2 offshore wind farm to Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM). De Brauw's team provided Ørsted with extensive support on a wide range of topics. Signing took place on 7 April 2021, closing is expected around summer 2021. The total value of the transaction is approx. EUR 1,375 billion.

Global Competition Review's 'European Law Firm of the Year 2021'

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Our cross-border capability in Europe is second to none.

Over the years, we have earned a reputation for getting enforcement actions neutralised and complex transactions cleared. We collaborate closely with those law firms which form part of our network of Best Friends and together form one of the largest European competition practices in Brussels. We cover all of the major European jurisdictions and are ranked as the best by the legal directories in each of these jurisdictions.

More than 175 Lawyers
40+ Brussels-based lawyers
Across 7 EU Member States

Our Brussels Office

The team are legally sharp, practical and no-nonsense... the advice is always very precise. They understand what we want as a client.

Chambers Europe, 2021
Chambers Europe, 2021


18 May 2021

EU proposes foreign subsidy control to match internal state aid regime

While state aid from EU member states is scrutinised on its compatibility with the internal market, there is no corresponding review framework for financial support provided by non-EU states to undertakings that are active in the EU. This can cause certain undertakings to receive foreign subsidies from third countries while others may be prohibited from getting financial aid from EU member states. Foreign subsidies could, for example, allow undertakings to offer lower sales prices in the EU or outbid competitors in M&A transactions. The European Commission has responded with a proposal to level the playing field. The proposal contains a standstill obligation, meaning companies which received foreign subsidies will have to notify the Commission and await clearance before bidding in an M&A deal. Contracting authorities that encounter participants which received foreign subsidies in their public procurements must also notify. Financial thresholds have been set for both types of notification procedures. However, even where cases fall below the threshold, they might still attract scrutiny if the Commission believes their potential impact in the EU so merits.
15 April 2021

Below-threshold referrals to Commission may make all M&A deals subject to review

The European Commission is mending the tears in its jurisdictional net by targeting deals falling below EU and national quantitative thresholds while potentially being anti-competitive. Until recently, the Commission discouraged national competition authorities (NCAs) from referring transactions that did need to be notified in the member states. However, a recent merger control case as well as recently published Commission guidance indicate a change of direction. This new policy undermines the idea that jurisdictional thresholds ensure legal certainty, and it remains to be seen whether the European Court of Justice will consider the policy change to be legitimate. Meanwhile, parties involved in deals with a potential impact on European markets that fall below EU and national quantitative thresholds are well advised to inform all European NCAs upfront to avoid a Commission review post-closing.
15 April 2021

Competition Law in the Digital Age: Best Friends newsletter

This edition focuses on:1. the European proposal for a Digital Markets Act;2. the newly adopted German Digitalisation Act; and3. the CMA’s case against Google’s Privacy Sandbox in the UK; and4. merger control and personal data in the Google/Fitbit takeover .