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Sector Regulation, Monopolisation and Market Investigations

Companies with strong market positions may also be subject to individual investigations, which could affect the operation of the business and lead to severe sanctions.

Sector/market regulation is an increasingly important means for authorities to regulate competition and enforce antitrust rules. Companies increasingly face the risk that their industry as a whole will be closely scrutinised. This could result from a wide-ranging sector inquiry by the European Commission, or a market or regulatory investigation at national level carried out by a competition agency or sector regulator (or both). We have advised in relation to a number of market studies and market investigations carried out by the European Commission and national competition authorities.

Recent inquiries have spanned a broad range of industries: pharmaceuticals, financial services, telecommunications, building materials, insurance and pay-TV. In the past year, the European competition authorities have initiated some high-profile investigations in the technology sector at the intersection between competition laws and IP rights. Our team has been involved in many of these cases, and can advise on:

  • strategy for dealing with authorities, who will expect (and often compel) industry players to provide detailed commercial information
  • preparing submissions, briefing papers, and responses to information requests
  • negotiating commitments to address authorities' concerns

Within a particular sector, companies with strong market positions must carefully consider the impact of their conduct. Any abuse of a monopoly or dominant position can carry severe penalties which may reach hundreds of millions of euros or dollars. It is also an issue high on many antitrust authorities' enforcement priorities, as seen by the recent investigation into Google which has attracted attention of agencies around the globe. We have a strong record of helping companies to navigate this complex area, acting for both complainants and companies under investigation.

Specific sector regulators may be consulted on, or even in some countries lead, antitrust investigations. Complex networks of regulation may apply across jurisdictions. Our team has expertise in dealing with sector regulators and has wide experience of advising on cases involving parallel antitrust and regulatory review processes. We guide companies through the regimes involved, helping to develop coordinated responses and strategies.

Noticias e Insights

The exterior of the EU headquarters in Brussels

Publications: 28 MAY 2021

Las subvenciones extranjeras, bajo la lupa de la UE

La Comisión Europea está impulsando nuevas herramientas legislativas para hacer frente a las distorsiones que puedan causar en el mercado interior aquellas empresas que se benefician de subvenciones…

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windows

Publications: 10 MAY 2021

Modificada la normativa española de defensa de la competencia (transposición de la Directiva ECN+)

El pasado 27 de abril el Consejo de Ministros aprobó el Real Decreto Ley 7/2021  (el RDL Ómnibus) por el que se transponen al ordenamiento jurídico español varias directivas de la Unión Europea, entre…

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Publications: 20 APRIL 2020

Sentencia Budapest Bank: se eleva el listón para declarar una práctica restrictiva de la competencia “por objeto”

El pasado 2 de abril de 2020, el Tribunal de Justicia de la Unión Europea (TJUE) dictó su esperada sentencia en relación con las cuestiones prejudiciales en el asunto C-228/18, Budapest Bank (la…

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Publications: 25 MARCH 2020

Covid-19 Coronavirus: el Derecho de la Competencia también ayuda

Las circunstancias excepcionales creadas por la pandemia del Covid-19 coronavirus han impactado de lleno en todos los aspectos de la vida diaria en España y en otros muchos países. En este boletín…

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