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EU and Competition Law
The highly regulated market environment, both at the level of the EU and domestically, poses a variety of potential hazards to business. A cartel can result in imposition of substantial fines and damage claims from competitors may ensue. A merger can be blocked or, in some circumstances, unwound. A state aid can be ordered to be repaid. A dominant undertaking can be required to grant access to its key assets and markets to competitors or find itself in a position where a complete change of business strategy is the only option. Moreover, directors can be held personally liable or disqualified. To help you navigate through this complex environment you may need to rely on the advice of sophisticated legal experts.
Having represented our clients before the local antitrust authority (Competition Council of Latvia) and in court appeals against decisions adopted by it, we have accumulated comprehensive expertise across all major aspects of competition law and competition litigation.
We have advised a number of top-tier international clients on the issues of unfair advertising practices, restrictive covenants, abuse of dominant position, cooperation and market-sharing agreements, distribution agreements, franchising and license agreements. We are competent both in the local and EU dimensions of competition law.
We strive to provide our clients with forward-looking and business-centric advice on the full spectrum of competition law issues.
Our principal competition law practice areas include:
• Protection against unfair competition
• Unfair commercial practices
• Merger control
• Competition compliance
• Anti-competitive agreements and practices
• Abuse of dominant position
• Non-compete and restrictive covenants
• State aid and EU funding
• Complaints and actions for damages
• Competition investigations
• Dawn raids and representation before antitrust authorities and courts
• Trading and distribution
We pride ourselves in having represented or advised our clients on a number of significant cases and transactions involving competition law issues. Our track record includes, among others, the following landmark cases and transactions:
Our law firm represented a group of domestic advertisement agencies before the local antitrust authority in connection with an alleged cartel agreement restricting competition.
We represented the largest Estonian energy supply company on the domestic competition law implications of certain pricing policies and supply of balancing electricity.
We advised a leading global nutrition company on the matters concerning abuse of dominant position in the market.
We advised the largest Latvian telecommunications company on multiple aspects of EU and Latvian competition law related to abuse of dominant position and State aid in connection with proceedings before the Latvian antitrust authority and European Commission, Directorate-General for Competition.
We advised a leading global energy trading company and shipping fleet operator on its submission of merger notifications to the Latvian antitrust authority.
We successfully represented the local subsidiary of Samsung Electronics in administrative court proceedings in connection with a high-profile appeal against decision of the Latvian Competition Council involving allegations of price fixing and market sharing. The amount of fine initially imposed by the Council was the highest in the Council’s history. As a result of settlement reached between Samsung Electronics and the Latvian Competition Council, the amount of the fine was substantially reduced. Moreover, the Council has agreed to withdraw its allegations of price fixing and market sharing on the part of Samsung Electronics. The case involved participation by several internationally acclaimed competition law experts.
We advised a world leading water treatment and desalination construction company with respect to a range of competition aspects relevant to its acquisitions in Latvia.
We represented a leading Latvian commercial bank in proceedings before the Latvian Competition Council and in proceedings before Latvian administrative courts in connection with restrictive agreement on multilateral interchange fees charged on domestic payment card transactions. The case involved imposition of the largest penalty in the history of the Council.