FPS specialises in advising clients on European and German antitrust law, merger control, foreign trade law and investment control.

The FPS team offers advice on all antitrust issues relating to cooperation with competitors in the area of distribution and purchasing. We are enablers, particularly within the distribution structure that complies with antitrust law. As such, we have organised Europe-wide distribution systems (especially in the area of selective distribution) with maximum added value for our clients, and reorganised systems to make them compliant with antitrust law.

We are on hand to assist clients with any issues concerning a strong market position and to deal with compliance matters, transactions and all upstream and downstream issues, including when seeking and defending against damages. Litigation is one of the law firm’s core areas of expertise, including complex antitrust disputes with supposedly no prospect of success. 

Our teams’ regulatory expertise is rounded off by a close working relationship with the state aid and public procurement team as well as extensive knowledge of the circular economy – when it comes to product stewardship, our clients can count on us.

Our lawyers in the antitrust team have particular industry knowledge within the following areas: automotive, chemical, medicine production and distribution, cosmetics and body care, pharmaceuticals, in particular pharmaceutical distribution, fashion, media and advertising (print and online), plant engineering, real estate, healthcare, environmental and waste management, and energy and communications, particularly fibre-optic cooperation partnerships, mobile communications and similar areas.

Specialisation

  • Foreign trade law

    If our clients want to know which distribution requirements need to be met as a manufacturer, service provider or software developer, if they want to work on projects with third parties where there are dual-use issues or specific reportable items, we are on hand to assist them. We have extensive experience in dealing with the authorities and, in addition to merger control, we may also be able to obtain approval from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action for inbound investment. For outbound business matters, we work with our network and find solutions for the approval of purchases abroad.

  • Damage claims

    We help our clients to assert claims for damages under antitrust law. Our team has considerable experience in pursuing claims for damages and regularly works with economists. We are also on hand to defend against claims for damages as a result of a ruling made on the basis of antitrust law. In doing so, we regularly work with the relevant litigation teams at FPS.

  • Merger control

    The FPS team has extensive experience in dealing with every stage of merger control proceedings, including defending against any third-party attacks on approvals in court. Should the need arise, we also use our global network to coordinate international notifications (multi-jurisdictional analysis and support) as well as any antitrust defence – cartels often spread across borders.

  • Antitrust compliance

    Swift and pragmatic: FPS offers a comprehensive consulting concept in the area of compliance in order to ensure compliance with antitrust law within companies. Anyone who suspects a compliance issue can count on our expertise. We highlight possible solutions and have experience in using electronic equipment and forensic software – with the aim of averting any potential negative effects for our clients or the company concerned.

    We offer facilitation products – such as an emergency hotline, training and preparation courses, and mini-audits – and we are on hand to support compliance officers as well as operators of whistle-blower hotlines.

  • Antitrust defence

    We regularly represent clients in antitrust and penalty proceedings before national and international competition authorities, including the Bundeskartellamt and the European Commission, and assist them in the event of infringements in penalty proceedings, starting with preparatory work to avoid infringements by establishing functioning compliance systems through to preparations prior to antitrust searches. Risks or potential requirements are identified in advance of any transactions and bidding processes and – whenever possible – solutions are provided.

  • Circular economy

    We possess particular expertise in the area of product stewardship. Our lawyers have established dual systems for the responsible disposal of e-waste and batteries and have also set up industry systems. We are on hand with our practical experience when it comes to handling disputes with the Central Agency Packaging Register, achieving efficiencies in the area of packaging disposal and meeting obligations as a distributor and retailer, but particularly in all matters at the point where the circular economy and antitrust law intersect.

  • Subsidy control

    We help clients with issues governed by the Subsidy Regulation and with restrictions related to participation in tenders in cooperation with the procurement teams. Where transactions are involved, we help to obtain the necessary approvals.

    Are you under investigation? We support you in the event of any searches and assist with all information-related matters to minimise your risks.

  • Drafting contracts

    The new regulations governing artificial intelligence, the opportunities afforded by the Green Deal, the increasing importance of foreign trade law and investment control, and the additional requirements laid down by the Subsidy Directive – it is essential to be in the picture at all times and meet the generally increasing requirements. We draw on our extensive experience to help our clients find pragmatic solutions, draft contracts covering distribution aspects of antitrust law and manage cooperation partnerships.

Publications on this topic

Dr. Jan Joachim Dreyer
Das Bundeskartellamt als Allzweckwaffe
Börsen-Zeitung,
Dr. Jan Joachim Dreyer
Berücksichtigung von Umweltschutzaspekten bei der kartellrechtlichen Bewertung von Kooperationen 76
Wirtschaft und Wettbewerb, , S. 76