Our economic system is based upon the free play of market forces. However, some state intervention may be necessary to supplement and correct the free operation of markets in order to promote competition and/or the common good. Typical examples of state intervention in the area of business include regulation, competition and antitrust law as well as procurement law.
Regulation provides a framework for certain economic sectors in order to enable competition in the first place or to put an end to monopolies and information asymmetries. Traditionally regulated sectors include energy supply, water and wastewater management, telecommunications and waste management. We advise our clients on all regulatory matters, ranging from unbundling and the calculation of (grid) charges to metering. In this respect, our working group AK REGTP provides invaluable assistance in all questions of regulation management, focusing particularly on the needs of grid operators.
It is not only the sector-specific regulations, but also antitrust law requirements which heavily influence our entire economic landscape. We are experienced in assisting with company mergers (merger control) and help companies with structuring mergers and filing the necessary applications. We advise our clients on how to design their activities in conformity with antitrust law requirements, particularly where cooperation schemes with other companies are concerned or where a company holds a dominant market position. We also support companies in their fight against anti-competitive behaviour of other companies and represent them before judicial institutions at all levels.
Public procurement is governed by procurement law. The requirements placed on the public sector and public-sector companies have been significantly tightened particularly due to case law established by the European Court of Justice. There are, however, exemptions from the obligation to conduct a tender. We provide comprehensive advice on all legal questions that may arise in this context.