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Antonio Bavasso

Partner Co-Head Antitrust

London

Bavasso Antonio
Antonio Bavasso

Partner Co-Head Antitrust

London

Antonio Bavasso is the co-head of the global antitrust practice and also co-head of the telecoms, media and technology practice. He is recognised as a leading expert in antitrust and regulation, practising primarily in London and Brussels.

Over the years he has advised on a number of precedent-setting merger and behavioural investigations as well as regulatory and antitrust litigation, at EU, UK and international levels. These include: 21st Century Fox on its proposed acquisition of Sky, on its acquisition by The Walt Disney Company, and on its sale of Sky Italia and its 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland to BSkyB; News Corporation/News UK on various strategic matters including the revision of the Times Undertakings; 20th Century Fox on various matters including the UK investigation into supply of movies to pay-TV and the EC investigation into pay-TV territorial licensing; VEON on the merger control and regulatory approval of its joint venture with CK Hutchison and subsequent sale of its interest in WindTre to its JV partner CK Hutchison; Mubadala as part of the Sony Consortium on the acquisition of EMI Music Publishing and subsequent disposal of its interest in EMI Music Publishing to Sony; Orange Austria on the merger with Hutchison; various matters for Endemol Shine, including the initial joint venture between Endemol and Shine and on its USD 2.6 billion disposal to the Banijay Group, which was recently cleared by the European Commission, and Sky (then BSkyB) on the acquisition of a stake in ITV (and following litigation up to the Court of Appeal).

Antonio is currently acting for Liberty Global plc on its GBP31bn deal with Telefónica SA to merge Virgin Media (the UK subsidiary of Liberty Global) and O2, and Qatar Petroleum on the EC investigation into alleged territorial restrictions relating to the supply of LNG into Europe.

Antonio is dual qualified in the UK and Italy and has practised in San Francisco. He holds a JD magna cum laude from the University of Florence and a PhD from University College London, where he is a visiting professor and the co-founder and co-director of the Jevons Institute for Competition Law and Economics. He has published widely and is a consultant editor of Butterworths Competition Law Handbook. He is also a non-governmental adviser to the International Competition Network of competition authorities on unilateral practices and merger control.

Antonio comes recommended as a leading lawyer in his field in the main legal directories. He is described as a “first class lawyer, you want him on your side for behavioural investigations and antitrust litigation”, and as having “a deep understanding of the law, but he is also innovative in utilising his knowledge.”

Other noteworthy experience includes advising:

  •  News Corporation/ News UK on various strategic matters including the revision of the Times Undertakings.
  • 21st Century Fox on its sale of Sky Italia and its 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland to Sky.
  • 20th Century Fox on the EC investigations into pay-TV territorial licensing and the use of MFN clauses and digital deployment agreements.
  • Mubadala Development Company PJSC on numerous acquisitions including its joint acquisition with Sony of EMI Music Publishing and subsequent disposal of its interest in EMI Music Publishing to Sony.
  • Orange Austria on the EU Phase II merger control clearance of its acquisition by Hutchison 3G Austria.
  • WPP in relation to various antitrust matters including the acquisition of TNS (cleared by the European Commission subject to remedies).
  • Sky on the proposed acquisition of a 17.9% stake in ITV and the precedent-setting Court of Appeal proceedings, following Sky’s appeal against the Competition Appeal Tribunal judgement on the interpretation of competition and media plurality rules.
  • Various matters for Endemol Shine, including the initial joint venture between Endemol and Shine and on its USD2.6bn disposal to the Banijay Group, which was recently cleared by the European Commission.
  • Paddy Power’s merger with Betfair.

News & insights

Publications: 25 SEPTEMBER 2020

Covid–19 coronavirus update: an overview of European Commission State aid decisions (updated 25 Sept 2020)

Under State aid rules, UK and EEA Member State governments may not generally provide selective assistance to businesses without prior approval from the European Commission (EC). This includes…

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Publications: 25 SEPTEMBER 2020

Covid–19 coronavirus update: global application of foreign investment control rules (updated 25 Sept 2020)

Certain regulators are making changes to their foreign direct investment regimes in response to Covid-19 coronavirus. 

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Publications: 25 SEPTEMBER 2020

Covid–19 coronavirus: global merger review (updated 25 Sept 2020)

Merger review processes are being impacted worldwide as merger control authorities adapt to take account of the consequences of Covid-19 coronavirus.

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Publications: 25 SEPTEMBER 2020

Covid–19 coronavirus update: global application of antitrust rules (updated 25 September 2020)

Adverse economic or social conditions have not historically tended to affect the general application and enforcement of antitrust rules. 

Read more

Office

London

Allen & Overy LLP
One Bishops Square
London
E1 6AD

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Qualifications

Professional

Admitted as avvocato, Italy, 1999

Admitted as solicitor, England and Wales, 2001

Academic

JD (cum laude), University of Florence, 1995

PhD, Law, University of London (UCL), 2001

Recognition

Experience highlights

Awards

Top 3, Global Elite firms

Global Competition Review 2020

TMT Firm of the Year

Legal 500 UK Awards 2019

Competition Team of the Year

British Legal Awards 2018

Published work

  • Editor, Butterworth Competition Law Handbook, since 2012
  • 2003, “Communications in EU antitrust law: market power and public interest”, Kluwer
  • Associate editor of Judicial Review in European Law, 2000, "Liber Amicorum" in honour of Lord Slynn of Hadley, O’Keeffe (ed.), Kluwer.

Articles/Book chapters

  • 2016 “Telecoms mergers under the EU merger Regulation: A New Frame of reference?”, with Dominic Long (November) Competition Policy International Chronicle (2016), p. 1
  • "State aid in broadcasting", with Christopher Best in EU State Aids, Hancher, Ottervanger, Slot (eds) (5th ed Sweet & Maxwell, 2016), pp. 715-732
  • 2015 “The Application of Competition Law in the Communications and Media Sectors: A Survey of Recent Cases”, with Dominic Long 6(5) Journal of European Competition Law & Practice (2015), pp. 265-380
  • 2014 “The Application of Competition Law in the Communications and Media Sectors: A Survey of Recent Cases”, with Dominic Long 5(4) Journal of European Competition Law & Practice (2014), pp. 233-246
  • 2013 "The Application of Competition Law in the Communications and Media Sectors: A Survey of 2012 Cases", with Dominic Long, 4(3) Journal of European Competition Law & Practice (2013), pp. 264-27
  • 2012, "Media Plurality: under the Skin of Control - Concept, Context and Reform", 8(2) Competition Policy International, (2012) pp. 52-81
  • "The Application of Competition Law in the Communications and Media Sectors: A Survey of 2011 Cases", with Dominic Long, 3(4) Journal of European Competition Law & Practice (2012), pp. 385-39
  • "State aid in broadcasting", in EU State Aids, Hancher, Ottervanger, Slot (eds) (4th ed Sweet & Maxwell, 2012), pp. 567-589
  • 2011 "The Application of Competition Law in the Communications and Media Sectors: A Survey of 2010 Cases", with Dominic Long, 2(3) Journal of European Competition Law & Practice (2011), pp. 259-268
  • 2010 "An Opportunity for Reform of the UK Competition Regime", with Simon Pritchard, October 2010, CPI Antitrust Journal
  • "Clarifying the Scope of Judicial Review in Competition Inquiries The Saga of PPI", with Mark Friend, 6(1) Competition Policy International, (2010) pp. 213-236
  • "The Application of Competition Law in the Communications and Media Sectors: A Survey of Recent Cases", with Dominic Long, 1(3) Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, (2010) pp. 232-240
  • 2009 "UK Anti-Cartel Enforcement", with Louise Tolley, in Anti-Cartel Enforcement Worldwide, Dabbah and Hawk (eds.) (Cambridge, 2009), pp. 1216-1246
  • 2007 "Causation in EC Merger Control", with A Lindsay, 3(2) Journal of Competition Law and Economics (2007), pp. 181-202
  • 2006 "State aid in broadcasting", in EC State Aids, Hancher, Slot, and Ottervanger (eds.) (3rd ed, Sweet & Maxwell, 2006) pp. 420-438
  • 2005 "The Role of Intent under Article 82; From 'Flushing the Turkeys' to 'Spotting Lionesses in Regent's Park", 26(11) European Competition Law Review (2005), pp. 616-623
  • 2004, "Electronic communications: a new paradigm for European regulation", 41(1) Common Market Law Review, pp. 87-11
  • "Industrial policy and extraterritoriality international antitrust; a lesson from Europe", The Antitrust Bulletin (Fall/2003), pp. 657-666 (contribution to A Symposium on Global Antitrust Law and Policy in honour of Professor Thomas Sullivan
  • 2002, "Public service broadcasting and state aid rules: between a rock and a hard place", (27)(3) European Law Review, pp. 340-350
  • "Essential facilities in EC law: the rise of an 'epithet' and the consolidation of a doctrine in the communications sector", in 21 Yearbook of European Law 2001-2002, Eeckhout and Tridimas (eds.), Oxford University Press, pp. 63-106
  • 2000, "Four freedom and national competence in search of the dividing line", with O’ Keeffe, in Judicial Review in European Law, Liber Amicorum in honour of Lord Slynn of Hadley, O’Keeffe (ed.), pp. 541-556, Kluwer
  • 1999, "Gencor: a judicial review of the Commission’s policy: many lights and some shadows", 22(4) World Competition, pp. 45-65
  • Written Evidence on Multijurisdictional Merger Control in the FM/T&N case, submitted to the International Competition Policy Advisory Committee of the US Attorney General for Antitrust with Mark Friend Final Report
  • 1998, Case note, Verteinigte Familiapress Zeitundsverlags- und vertriebs GmbH v. Heinrich Bauer Verlag, ECR [1997] I-3689, 35 Common Market Law Review, pp. 1413-1426
  • "Boeing McDonnell Douglas: did the Commission fly too high?", 19 European Competition Law Review, pp. 243-248
  • 1997, "Fundamental Rights and the European Citizen", with O’Keeffe, in European Citizenship and Institutional Challenge, M. La Torre (ed.), Kluwer, pp. 35-53, 1998; A revised version published as “Judicial protection of fundamental rights and the European citizen”, in Judicial Protection of Fundamental rights, Editions Bruyland, pp. 251-265
  • "Il forum non conveniens nell’esperienza giuridica inglese: discrezionalità come strumento e giustizia come fine", Forum non Conveniens in the English
    Experience: Discretion as a Means and Justice as a Goal, in Rivista di diritto civile, pp. 607-638