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Merger Control

We regularly advise clients contemplating transactions on merger control notification duties and proceedings. We handle merger control proceedings in Switzerland as stand alone domestic proceedings or as a part of international transactions where we are able to coordinate the proceedings in Switzerland with the proceedings in other jurisdictions. We are also able to manage complex matters including Phase II investigations and remedy negotiations.

We advise on all issues involved in merger control, including:

  • Presentation of transactions to competition authorities
  • Facts finding, preparing and drafting submissions and answers to requests for further information
  • Following-up with competition authorities and negotiating settlements
  • Meetings and cooperation prior to notification and completion ("gun jumping" compliance)
  • Integration planning
  • Due diligence regarding behaviour prior to the transaction
  • Engaging expert economists to support assessments

 

Cartel Investigations and Disputes

Competition authorities worldwide and in Switzerland are now focusing on cartel enforcement. Cartel investigations are increasingly investigated across multiple jurisdictions and can have severe consequences for the businesses concerned, including sanctions, damages actions and reputational damage.

We represent clients under investigation in cases of alleged breaches of competition law and coordinate with the multi-jurisdictional defence strategies and responses. Our aim is to achieve the best results in both the proceedings before competition authorities and courts, as well as in private litigation and other aspects of a client's legal standing and defence. We are constantly adapting our strategies to the developments of national and international cartel investigations and disputes.

We offer our clients comprehensive legal services that commence

  • At the very beginning of an investigation by dawn raid or otherwise
  • Continuing through to the proceedings before competition authorities
  • Including the assessment of potential leniency applications and the defence of the undertakings' interests
  • Potential appeals before the courts
  • Potential private actions for damages

 

Dominance and Market Conduct

Businesses that have a strong position in the market can face allegations that they abuse their dominant position against other market participants. Behaviour by a business with a dominant market position that may be considered abusive includes, in particular, any refusal to deal (e.g., refusal to supply or to purchase goods), discrimination between trading partners in relation to prices or other conditions, imposition of unfair prices or conditions, under-cutting prices or other conditions directed against specific competitors, any limitation of production, supply or technical development, etc.

We regularly advise clients with regard to such issues either at an early stage when they are considering changes in their pricing policies, contractual relationships with customers or suppliers, distribution systems, or any other policies and behaviours, or at a later stage when they are faced with an investigation by competition authorities. In each of these cases, our in-depth understanding of a vast range of different industries and related economical analyses is paramount to achieving the best solutions for our clients.

Advice on Business Policies and Compliance

Competition law has an increasing influence on the policies and the conduct of businesses and very often provides the guidelines from which they are required to operate. We develop policies for our clients that ensure they operate within the legal framework while providing them with the greatest possible scope and freedom to operate their business. To do so we analyse our clients' business, their relationships with other market participants (horizontal, e.g., trade associations, vertical, e.g., suppliers and customers), and their existing policies, including pricing, distribution, supplies, technical development, cooperation, etc.

We advise clients on all issues relevant to their business, including:

  • Distribution systems and agreements
  • Agency agreements
  • Licensing agreements
  • Supply and purchasing agreements
  • Cooperation agreements, including R&D and specialisation
  • Information exchange
  • Recommended resale prices
  • Allocation of territories, including the alleged foreclosure of markets and restriction of parallel imports
  • Competition compliance


We also advise clients with regard to employee education and training to ensure that all of their employees comply with competition law and related legislation. This includes the development of policies and of appropriate means to implement them. We additionally work together with our clients in the implementation and revaluation phases as well as with regard to the periodical review and reassessment of their policies and compliance programmes.