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Dr. Nils Ellenrieder LL.M.
Jülicher Str. 31
50674 Köln

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We are your trustworthy advisor in all antitrust matters.

Ellenrieder advises

Antitrust compliance

Our antitrust compliance work is focused on the following aspects:

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    • The antitrust compliance advise is initially focused on the minimisation of fine and damage claim risks. That means that besides the basics of antitrust law we identify the key risks for your company and the specific industry.
    • If desired we are happy to prepare specifically tailored antitrust compliance guidelines and training materials.
    • In addition we also offer the implementation of compliance systems and related trainings.
    • Of course we also support you in conducting preventive antitrust audits.

Cooperation with competitors

We advise comprehensively on joint venture and cooperation agreements between (potential) competitors in the areas of research and development (R&D), procurement, production and distribution.

Information exchange and benchmarking

Competitors exchange information generally in particular in the context of cooperations or association work in a permissable manner.

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    However, an exchange of current or future prices, quantities and customers is classified by courts and authorities as a cartel infringement and should therefore be strictly avoided. Furthermore, an information exchange between competitors is relevant under EU antitrust laws if strategic information is communicated. A prior antitrust compliance check is highly recommended. If needed we are happy to assist you.

Merger Control

Our advisory service also includes inter alia
  • The assessment of global merger filing requirements
  • Notification of envisaged transactions with the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office
  • The coordination of multijurisdictional filings.

Antitrust for the Insurance Sector

On account of vast experience and interest in the insurance sector we also advise in this special sector.

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    The fields of expertise inter alia relates to the assessment of statistics (for instance e.g. claims requirements), common standard policy conditions, benchmarking and market information systems, collaboration in terms of security devices, framework agreement with service providers (e.g. claims settlement), co-insurance solutions and distribution cooperations.

Antitrust for Associations

It is evident that work concerning associations is of high importance for our economy. However, associations also need to comply with EU antitrust regulations.

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    Associations must inter alia be aware that there are no incentives for Anitrust infringements and that meetings are not used for illegal information exchange. An effective compliance mechanism can be established through antitrust guidelines and continuous trainings. We gladly support you with our services.

Antitrust for Distribution

We counsel our clients in designing their distribution agreements in compliance with antitrust law and in adapting to legal or economic changes. Further, we accompany the negotiations and if needed disputes about terminated distributions agreements as well as associated compensation claims.

Focus: Digital Economy

Digitalisation has brought far-reaching changes to many industries. This promotes economic development in many ways. Search engines, price comparison websites, social networks and many business models of the sharing economy would not be doable without digitalisation.

Digital Economy

However, digitalisation also changes traditional industries in many ways. This results in new challenges to competition law overall. This becomes manifest inter alia in the following areas:

  • The digitalisation creates new questions in terms of anticompetitive behaviour, for instance due to the use of digital instruments like price control („algorithms“), automatic competitor observation („crawler“) or the foundation of platforms with the participation of competitors. This also leads to new challenges for compliance departments. Companies should therefore be informed about the digital developments also from a EU competition law angle.
  • By means of digitalisation allicances and cooperation in standardisation matters it is possible to develop new business opportunities and to enhance competition. However, it is important that such collaborations do not lead to anticompetitive behaviour. We are happy to assist you in that context.
  • Digitalisation has also changed competition on trading levels tremendously. The traditional stationary trading has become more and more substituted by online trading or by the continously increasing interaction between online and offline sales channels. It is becoming more and more important for companies to be aware of the possibilities but also the limitations (for instance in the area of platform bans or AdWords restrictions) the producers have over the distributors' online activities.
  • A controversial discussion is currently in process regarding the right balance between the promotion of the pro-competitive aspects of platforms, networks and the prevention of potential absuse of market power which arises due to exlusive data collection, analysis and use.
  • The specific characteristics of digital markets also change the assessment of merger cases. While in traditional markets market share is often a good proxy for market power, it can be a less reliable proxy in digital markets. Direct and indirect network effects, multi- or singlehoming, market tipping and access to data can be relevant factors and can change the results of the analysis compared to traditional markets even in case of high market shares positively.