Competition law issues can arise in a wide variety of agreements and business arrangements. Regardless of sector and size, any business needs to be aware of competition law in order to meet its obligations and to protect its rights and position in the marketplace. We provide advisory services on all aspects of competition law.

We can advise businesses generally on how to structure their governance and legal risk systems, tailored to the type and scale of the business concerned. We cover the range of legal specialisations that typically affect technology companies and we can provide advice on intellectual property, data protection and cybersecurity issues that are critical to the technology sector.

Infringement of competition law has serious consequences both for companies and individuals. Contracts can be deemed invalid or unenforceable and egregious breach can even lead to criminal sanctions to the business and some individuals behind it. We can advise on the best ways to address these issues and provide:

  • cost effective diligence and investigatory services to check whether existing contracts are compliant with the current competition law
  • state of the art competition law compliance training programs for technology businesses and their staff
  • review and advice on legal governance, risk control and audit system

Competition law issues can arise in a range of agreements, such as:

Commercial agreements. Competition law issues may arise in agreements that:

  • fix or affect competitor’s independent decisions over prices, terms and conditions
  • set sales territories and sales or market segmentation strategies that involve competitors
  • align different businesses’ economic interests or are specialisation agreements
  • involve sharing of resources, facilities, and products between businesses
  • involve grant of public resources in any form to the benefit of certain undertakings or whole sectors

In technology markets, intellectual property licencing agreements, technology transfer agreements and all types of vertical agreements from distribution to franchising raise complex competition law issues which we can help address.

Investigations and compliance. The nature of the technology industry means that both competition and collaboration are common between businesses. Care is needed in ensuring that agreements and arrangements are compatible with the law and that, where issues arise, the consequences and risks are properly appreciated and strategies are devised to address eventual consequences or to mitigate potential risks.

Corporate structures. Collaboration can take many forms. We have extensive experience on both the corporate and commercial structures used to put in place agreements with a collaborative element such as joint ventures, partial acquisitions and outsourcing agreements. Corporate transactions of all types may raise issues requiring competition law clearance from relevant regulatory and antitrust authorities. With regards to such transactions, we can advise on:

  • jurisdictions and the applicability of the relevant regulatory and antitrust laws
  • timetables and merger clearance project planning
  • contractual issues in merger agreements designed to mitigate merger control risks
  • notifications, presentations and advocacy of transactions before the relevant regulatory authorities

International transactions may be subject to the law of a wide range of jurisdictions. We have considerable experience in advising clients on the applicability of overlapping laws such as telecommunications regulations and financial services laws. In relation to merger control, we are able to act for parties of a merger, or for those who may be interested in raising competition law or wider public interest issues that deserve the attention of the authorities.

State aid. The European Union regulates the measures that involve aid by the Member States to undertakings or to the production of certain goods. State aid measures can take countless forms. EU law prohibits such aid when it distorts or threatens to distort competition in a way that is incompatible with the functioning of the internal market. Furthermore, aid compatible with the internal market cannot be granted without previous notification to and subsequent approval from the European Commission. We have experience in advising both undertakings and public bodies on State aid matters relating to a large number of sectors. We can advise on:

  • agreements, laws and regulations that might involve the grant of aid measures through public resources, before they are signed, adopted or approved
  • submission of complaints for alleged grant of aid measures to competitors
  • defence from State aid allegations in the context of investigation and proceedings initiated by the European Commission
  • litigation before national and European courts

Competition law litigation. Litigation in competition law is increasingly common. We have a leading practice in taking and defending claims for damages before the authorities and the courts. We both manage multijurisdictional litigation on behalf of clients and advise on jurisdictions and complaints to the relevant authorities that may be taken in parallel with litigation strategies. We can help with investigations and evidence gathering and pleadings. We work along with specialist counsel on court advocacy in different courts and jurisdictions.

Funding. Even the biggest companies are conservative when it comes to funding claims. We are familiar with commercial litigation funders and their requirements. We can advise on the typical arrangements required by commercial funders.

  • BCMR decision remitted to Ofcom

    The Competition Appeal Tribunal has today ruled that Ofcom’s BCMR decision be quashed and remitted to the regulator. The BCMR decision was published in April 2016. BT, CityFibre, and TalkTalk launched appeals against various aspects of the decision in June 2016 – the “BCMR Appeals”. The Competition Appeal Tribunal handed down a ruling today, finding…

  • Preiskel & Co Partner Tim Cowen quoted in PaRR discussing Google case

    Preiskel’s Tim Cowen has been quoted by PaRR, in an article[1] published yesterday, discussing the Google case. The Commission announced its decision on Google shopping on 27 June 2017. However, the question on many people’s minds is when the general public – and those considering follow-on damages claims – will be able to see a…

  • Google facing fines, non-discrimination obligations, and more?

    Preiskel & Co’s Tim Cowen has been quoted by various media sources, including Bloomberg, discussing the impact of an EU fine and potential non-discrimination obligation before the Commission’s announcement on Tuesday. As predicted, the EU has issued Google with a record fine of €2.42 billion. However, with a reported $92 billion “cash hoard”, Google may be…

  • Google fined record-breaking €2.42 billion by European Commission

    Following a seven-year investigation into Google’s Shopping service, the European Commission has today announced a €2.42 billion fine against Google. The Commission has found that Google breached EU antitrust rules by using its market dominance as a search engine to give its Shopping service an illegal advantage. The Commission has ordered that Google end this practice…

  • Getting ready for GDPR: Daniel Preiskel features in MEF blog

    Preiskel & Co Senior Partner, Danny Preiskel has contributed to the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) blog “Industry Views: GDPR, are we ready?” Danny outlines his views on how businesses should be preparing for the implementation of GDPR in May 2018. Please click here to read the blog post in full. Danny was recently elected to the…

  • Daniel Preiskel’s latest post for the MEF blog on GDPR

    Danny Preiskel’s latest article for the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) blog “Embracing Consumer Trust and GDPR” was published yesterday. The post contains Danny’s views on the importance of the forthcoming GDPR and shares details of the GDPR conference to be held in Milan on June 15th, put together by Preiskel & Co and other Lexing Network specialised tech…

  • Preiskel & Co advised RTX in relation to a £6M investment

    Preiskel & Co advised longstanding telecoms client, RTX on a complex financing round comprising an initial investment of £6M Growth Capital from BOOST&Co with further committed funding of £40M scheduled for the second half of the year. The Preiskel & Co team providing the corporate advice was led by Danny Preiskel with assistance from Karthyaeni Vittala and Stephan…

  • Preiskel & Co shortlisted for the ISPA Awards 2017

    The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) has announced the finalists for the 2017 annual ISPA awards, the longest running and most prestigious Internet industry awards in the UK. Preiskel & Co has been shortlisted for the “Best Tech Law Firm” award. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at Café de Paris,…