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Charles Pommiès

Counsel

Brussels

Pommies Charles
Charles Pommiès

Counsel

Brussels

Charles specialises in competition law. Given the importance of China for our clients, he was based in Beijing from 2014 to 2018. His practice covers a broad variety of matters, including assisting leading U.S., European and Asian companies in antitrust investigations (cartels and abuses of dominant position) and merger control reviews. Charles assists clients from a wide range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics, chemicals, transportation, automotive and financial institutions.

Charles has experience in advising multinational companies on merger filings with China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and general issues regarding compliance with China’s Anti-Monopoly Law. He has also assisted Chinese companies, in particular SOEs, on merger control issues arising from their investment abroad. In Europe, Charles has been involved in obtaining European Commission clearance in a number of precedent-setting and complex merger cases, and has also advised on a number of cartel and behavioural investigations by the European Commission and other national competition authorities.

Charles is admitted to the Bar in both France and Belgium. He has previously practised antitrust law in Washington D.C. and Paris.

Other noteworthy experience includes advising:

  • Berkshire Hathaway on the clearance by MOFCOM of its USD37.2bn acquisition of U.S. company Precision Castparts Corp.
  • Total on the clearance by MOFCOM of its USD1.5bn acquisition of Engie’s LNG business.
  • Mubadala on the clearance by MOFCOM of its USD125bn merger with IPIC.
  • Evonik on the clearance by MOFCOM of its USD3.8bn acquisition of the Performance Materials Division of Air Products.
  • Saudi Aramco on the clearance by MOFCOM of the creation of a joint venture with Lanxess and on the subsequent buy-out of Lanxess’ shares in that joint venture.
  • Nynas AB on the unconditional Phase 2 clearance by the European Commission of its acquisition of control of an oil refinery in Hamburg-Harburg from Shell Deutschland Oil GmbH. In an unprecedented move, the European Commission relied on the ‘failing division’ arguments developed by the parties to clear the case.
  • Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) on the EC investigation into alleged price signalling in the container shipping sector.
  • Samsung SDI on a cartel investigation by the European Commission in relation to CRT (cathode-ray tubes for televisions and computer monitors).
  • Novartis in relation to the conditional clearance by the European Commission of its USD40bn acquisition of Alcon.
  • Sandoz on an investigation by the European Commission in relation to alleged ‘pay-for-delay’ practices for the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

 

Experience highlights

Office

Brussels

Allen & Overy (Belgium) LLP
Tervurenlaan 268A avenue de Tervueren
Brussels
1150

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Qualifications

Professional

Admitted as avocat, Belgium, 2009

Admitted as avocat, France, 2003

Academic

LL.M. in Trade Regulation, New York University School Of Law, 2001

LL.M. in European Law, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2000

Degree in International Business, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (IEP), 1999

Recognition

Awards

Shortlisted for GCR’s 2014 award for “Merger Control Matter of the Year” in Europe

for our advice to Nynas AB on the unconditional Phase 2 clearance by the European Commission of its acquisition of control of an oil refinery in Hamburg-Harburg from Shell Deutschland Oil GmbH.

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Shortlisted for GCR’s 2017 award for “Behavioural Matter of the Year” in Europe

for our advice to HMM on the EC investigation into alleged price signalling in the container shipping sector.

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Shortlisted for GCR’s 2018 award for “Merger Control Matter of the Year” in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa

for our advice to Brocade on the conditional clearance by MOFCOM of their USD5.9bn acquisition by Broadcom.

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Published work

Pommiès, McDonald and Shen, “IPRs and China’s Anti-Monopoly Law: Friends or Foes?” in Antitrust, Vol. 31, No. 2, Spring 2017, p.73-78, Chicago: American Bar Association

Pommiès and Bechtold, “Parallel trade in the pharmaceutical sector and competition law: an overview of EU and national case law” in 2013 Competition Case Law Digest, p.497-508, New York: Institute of Competition Law

News & insights

Publications: 25 FEBRUARY 2020

Oil and gas joint venture parties not bound by good faith or rationality when discharging operator

Parties to an unincorporated oil and gas joint venture were free to act in their individual best interests in deciding whether to discharge another party from its operator role.  No duty of good faith or rationality applied: (1) Taqa Bratani Ltd; (2) Taqa Bratani LNS Ltd; (3) JX Nippon Exploration and Production (UK) Ltd; and (4) Spirit Energy Resources Ltd v Rockrose UKCS8 LLC [2020] EWHC 58 (Comm).

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Publications: 13 FEBRUARY 2020

China’s antitrust law under review – increased clarity, but more uncertainty

China offered a glimpse of what its antitrust regime may look like in the future by issuing few proposed amendments to the Anti-Monopoly Law for consultation in January 2020.

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Publications: 22 FEBRUARY 2019

New EU Regulation Bolsters Cooperation in National Screening of Foreign Investments Across Europe

The European Parliament approved on 14 February 2019 a new Regulation, aimed at harmonizing and coordinating the various national foreign investment screening mechanisms across the economic bloc.  The Regulation does not foresee screening at EU level.  However, Member States will be encouraged to share information and cooperate when scrutinising foreign investment, whilst the European Commission will orchestrate the communications and provide opinions on specific projects.   Questions remain on the practical impact on business of this new framework.  Whilst on the one hand it may create opportunities, on the other it risks expanding the scope of FDI screening in the EU, adding complexity and potentially lengthening approval timelines.

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Publications: 14 MAY 2018

Dawn of a New Era in Chinese Merger Control?

​The Chinese merger control landscape evolves as MOFCOM is replaced by the newly created State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) as the country’s merger control agency.  This change becomes fully effective on 14 May 2018 as merger control officials join SAMR, which becomes the single Chinese antitrust enforcement agency.  While in the short term the impact on enforcement is predicted to be minimal, given that the officials responsible for policy and casework remain unchanged, the longer term picture is as yet unclear.

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