Background - Practices (Details)

Belgian Competition

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The extension of the Belgian Competition Authority’s powers in 2013, together with a new Belgian law on collective recovery and the implementation of the EU Directive on antitrust damages actions, has resulted in a significant increase in the enforcement of competition law in Belgium.

Our Belgian competition law team is able to offer counseling and legal representation in relation to all the competition law matters affecting our clients, including cartel investigations and dominance issues, mergers, damages litigation, general counseling, and compliance.

We frequently appear before the Belgian Competition Authority; the Competition Chamber of the Brussels Court of Appeal; and civil courts throughout the country. Our counseling services help clients with matters such as the setting up and managing of distribution networks, pricing policies, horizontal cooperation agreements, and trade association activities. We also provide compliance audits and training.

Our Team

Our lawyers not only have a profound knowledge of the rules governing administrative investigations and judicial procedures in Belgium, they also have excellent contacts with the Belgian Competition Authority. The team frequently represents complainants and defendants in competition investigations, before both the Belgian Competition Authority and the EU Commission, and often litigates competition cases before national courts.

Partner Thomas De Meese heads the practice. He provides day-to-day counseling on distribution issues, pricing policies, trade associations, etc. He represents clients in antitrust investigations and regularly litigates competition cases in the Belgian courts.

"Thomas De Meese is an expert in Belgian domestic competition law with particular expertise in the TMT sector. He also advises on a mixture of state aid matters, with a number of recent cases to his name." Chambers Europe, 2017

Thomas de Meese “is widely recognized as a strong figure in Belgian competition law,” Chambers Europe, 2015

"Thomas De Meese is recommended for his ‘excellent preparation, response time and accurate advice.'" Legal 500 EMEA, 2014

"Respected academic Jules Stuyck is described by clients as 'very thorough, easy to work with and adapts very well to changes in a litigation. His first-class strategic legal thinking is also an extremely precious asset.' He is experienced in advising on transactional and contentious competition law." Chambers Europe, 2017

All our Belgium competition lawyers work in both Dutch and French and they cooperate closely with other Crowell & Moring lawyers knowledgeable in EU Competition and U.S. antitrust law.

Representative Matters

Investigations

  • Represented clients in cartel investigations in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and telecommunications sectors.
  • Requested preliminary measures against abusive practices and vertical limitations in the automotive sector.
  • Represented clients being investigated regarding dominance issues in the FMCG, media and telecommunications sectors.

Litigation

  • Represented clients in litigation regarding the compatibility with competition law of distribution agreements and standard terms and conditions.
  • Represented clients in connection with parallel trade issues in the media sector.
  • Represented clients in relation to exclusionary and discriminatory practices in the FMCG, media and telecommunications sectors.

Mergers

  • Acted on behalf of clients in first and second phase reviews by the Belgian Competition Authority and before the Brussels Court of Appeal.
  • Represented clients in third-party interventions in several merger proceedings in the telecommunications industry.
  • Brought proceedings to withdraw or amend commitments in merger cases.

Follow On Damages Claims

  • Represented a defendant opposing preliminary measures in the media sector.
  • Defended a number of different clients against claims for compensation for abusive discrimination in the media sector.