Competition and antitrust in Argentina

Marval O’Farrell Mairal

The competition and antitrust practice of Marval O’Farrell Mairal ‘is excellent because they have a business vision and seek to provide pragmatic and useful advisory alternatives’. The team is further recommended for being ‘quick in response to inquiries, very solid in its subject matter knowledge, and always available to help’. The practice stands out for its cross-border competition expertise and the breadth of its merger-filing work, as well as its experience in antitrust investigations. Competition specialist Miguel Del Pino co-leads the team with Santiago del Rio, who is ‘an excellent company lawyer in antitrust matters’. Rising star associate Ignacio Mora is another key name in the group.

Practice head(s):

Miguel del Pino; Santiago del Rio

Testimonials

‘Marval’s competition and antitrust practiceis excellent because they have a business vision and seek to provide pragmatic and useful advisory alternatives.’

‘The relationship with the partner in charge of the account and his entire team is also excellent.’

‘They respond quickly to inquiries, are very solid in their subject matter knowledge, and are always available to help.’

‘Partner Santiago del Rio is an excellent company lawyer in antitrust matters. He takes care of knowing all aspects of the consultation in detail and is very committed to his clients. His advice is pragmatic and he has a comprehensive view of the business. He fully masters the Antitrust specialty’.

‘Agustina Redondo, associate of the firm, is always proactive in helping the client, her responses are quick and accurate, and she knows antitrust issues very well.’

Key clients

Takeda

Glencore

Peugeot

AMX

Warner Media

Nike

Volkswagen

General Motors

Microsoft Corporation

Disney

Sumitomo Chemical

American Tower Corporation

Lone Star

Yara Corporation

Compagnie Gervais Danone

Advent

APM Terminals

Work highlights

  • Advice to Walmart on the sale of Walmart Argentina’s business to Grupo de Narvaez.
  • Advice to Peugeot on the 50/50 merger between Peugeot and Fiat.
  • Advice to Softbank on providing significant equity and debt financing to WeWork, which will allow some of the debt to be converted into shares, with Softbank becoming WeWork’s largest shareholder.

Allende & Brea

Known for its strong merger control practice and international presence, Allende & Brea’s well-earned reputation is partly due to participating in several of the most important cartel cases in Argentina. The firm also holds leadership positions in the Antitrust Committee of the International Bar Association, the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association, at Fordham Competition Law Institute, and the American Antitrust Institute. Julián Peña leads the practice and focuses on antitrust matters, dumping and international trade. A key name in his team is Federico Rossi who was promoted to partner in 2021 and who handles a range of competition and antitrust issues, including merger control proceedings, cartel investigations, dominance and sector enquiries.

Practice head(s):

Julián Peña

Key clients

AbbVie

Bain Capital

Praxair

International Business Machines (IBM)

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Syngenta

CDC (La Caisse des Depots et Consignations)

Novartis

MasterCard

Siemens

Thermo Fischer Scientific

Verallia

Plastic Omnium

Brighstar Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised  global, biopharmaceutical company AbbVie on the acquisition of Allergan.
  • Represented Bain Capital on its acquisition of Ahlström-Munksjo.
  • Advised Brighstar Capital Partners on the acquisition of Brighstar Corporation from Softbank.

Beccar Varela

Beccar Varela distinguishes itself by combining enforcement, merger control, investigations, counselling and compliance expertise to advise on precedent−setting cases, including the cement and automobile cartels matters and the credit cards investigation. The firm is active in the competition and antitrust space for traditional industries, notably banking and finance, as well as fast−growing industries such as pharma, technology and fintech; another key area of work is advising mass consumption companies. Practice head Agustín Waisman specialises in competition, antitrust, consumer protection and gaming law. He can call on the expertise of senior associates Mercedes Pando and Camila Corvalán, who handle a range of antitrust, consumer defence and unfair competition issues.

Practice head(s):

Agustín Waisman

Key clients

Samsung

Fiat

Kimberly Clark

Sanofi Aventis

Italgas

Kuehne Nagel

Facebook

Despegar

Electrolux

Western Union

Work highlights

  • Advising Despegar in connection with its acquisition of BestDay; advising the company in connection with the competition strategy and leading the proceedings for merger control before the Competition Commission.
  • Advised Grupo Axo on the acquisition of Nike Argentina and the competition strategy and merger-control filing before the Argentine Competition Commission.
  • Advised Mepadip on the acquisition of Telearte and Televisión ABC as well as certain assets from IMC Radios, Sebrumax, HFS Media and Prime Argentina; along with setting the strategy and preparing the filing for merger control notification before the Argentine Competition Commission.

Bomchil

The Bomchil practice is built around the core areas of merger control, investigations, general advice and compliance. The firm is particularly known for handling cases arising from the media and telecommunications, oil and gas, energy, chemicals, retail, financial services and transportation sectors. Antitrust expert Marcelo den Toom leads the team that includes Francisco Gutiérrez, who specialises in administrative law and regulation, and senior associate Gabriela Castillo Areco, who focuses on antitrust and corporate issues.

Practice head(s):

Marcelo den Toom

Key clients

WarnerMedia

Chevron

SaudiAramco

Rockwell

Ardagh

DirecTV

Corteva

Schlumberger

Carrefour

Pepsico

Massalin Particulares (Phillip Morris)

Aeropuertos Argentina 2000

Maersk

Gramercy and Gemcorp

Apollo Global Management

Stine Seeds

Supermercados Yaguar

Work highlights

  • Representation of seven construction companies in a wide-ranging bid-rigging investigation derived from highly-publicized “Notebooks” corruption scandal.
  • Representation of Maersk and APM Terminals in an abuse of dominance case in the port-terminals business.
  • Advised Saudi Aramco on the merger filing related to its acquisition of Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Company, one of the world’s largest chemical companies.

Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites & Arntsen

The broad practice at Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites & Arntsen handles matters ranging from general competition advice and due diligence to audits and data protection issues, with particular expertise in economic concentration transactions and antitrust cases. The firm expanded into Chile in 2020, boosting its international footprint, and it also offers an innovative "swift-notification test", a tool facilitating a rapid first assessment as to whether the National Commission for the Defence of Competition requires notification of a particular merger operation. Practice head Luis Diego Barry handles complex antitrust and product liability cases. Key associate support comes from María Carolina Abdelnabe Vila, who specialises in competition and antitrust, data protection law, product liability and legal tech.

Practice head(s):

Luis Diego Barry

Testimonials

‘It is a team that combines a high level of theoretical knowledge with practical experience.’

‘They work together with the internal area of ​​the company in a harmonious way and are a great technical support in such a specific area.’

‘A team with tremendous experience, good disposition, deep knowledge of the regulatory authorities’.

‘Luis Barry is a very prepared person, a great lawyer, with a tremendous knowledge of the matters he attends and is also very close to his clients. It was a tremendous experience working with him and successfully getting the assignment delivered’.

‘From my point of view, they have great technical solidity and excellent customer service, which includes consulting, interacting and agreeing with the in-house attorney on each decision’.

‘Luis Barry and Maria Carolina Abdelnabe do high-quality teamwork’.

Key clients

Honda Motor de Argentina

Molinos Río de la Plata

Etex Group

Google

PointState Capital

GSK

Latam Airlines Group

Louis Dreyfus Commodities

Fiat Chrysler

Edesur

Work highlights

  • Leading on the Argentine filing of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ merger with Peugeot into Stellantis, the fourth largest automotive group in the world.
  • Advising beef producer Marfrig Group on the Argentine filing concerning its acquisition of meat processing company Campo del Tesoro, after it had carried out a transaction in the same market in 2019.
  • Advising regional travel and tourism group CVC Corp on antitrust / competition analysis of the acquisition of three retail travel agencies (Biblos, Avantrip and Almundo) and a wholesale travel agency (OLA), and the relevant filings before the authority.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie focuses on the key areas of transaction approval, civil and criminal antitrust litigation, cartel investigations and antitrust counselling. Within this broad spectrum of work, the practice is especially strong in the areas of price controls and abuses. The global footprint of the firm allows it to offer a full service to international clients in the competition and antitrust arena, particularly as regards regional and global transactions. Esteban Rópolo leads the team and specialises in antitrust and foreign trade matters.

Practice head(s):

Esteban Ropolo

Testimonials

‘In-depth knowledge of the regulations and resolutions of the body. As well as the political moment to understand the trends of the CNDC’.

‘They work as a team with the company, understanding the dynamics of the business and providing tailormade advice for each conflict situation’.

Key clients

BASF Argentina

Platinum Equity

Advent International Corporation

Biogen

Colgate Palmolive Argentina

HP Argentina

Grupo Ibérica de Congelados

Megapharma

Colgate Palmolive

Kraft Heinz Argentina

Work highlights

  • Advised Megapharma on its acquisition of Raymos and Max Vision, two important laboratories in the Argentine eye-care market.
  • Assisted Procter & Gamble Argentina with the interpretation and implementation of Resolution No. 100/20 issued by the Secretary of Commerce, which established price controls over 2000 consumer products as a consequence of the Covid emergency.
  • Ongiong assistance to Colgate Palmolive Argentina regarding general antitrust compliance issues, including resale price maintenance, exclusivities and other vertical restraints.

Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi

Providing clients with ‘security, calm and always superlative treatment’, Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi is well regarded for its merger-control and conduct-investigations expertise. The firm also has experience in day-to-day matters related to the maximum prices set by the authorities, professional associations meetings, distribution agreements, exclusivity, joint ventures, new products and contingency analysis. Practice head Gabriel Lozano specialises in competition law and has a ‘background is steeped in regulation’. Another key name in the team is Estanislao Olmos, who focuses on corporate law and advises on M&A and antitrust clearance matters.

Practice head(s):

Gabriel Lozano

Testimonials

We found a very strong team at Bruchou. Gabriel Lozano and the team have a pragmatic outlook, focused on practice and market facts.

We had a very good experience with Gabriel Lozano. He was very steeped in background and regulation on the matter for which we consulted him. He has been very flexible and open to constructive comments and discussions.

They have been very flexible in responding very quickly to our inquiries. And they have been reasonable and willing to agree to very reasonable fees for the analysis. I emphasize that they have looked a lot at the practical experience of recent antecedents when considering the situation for which we consulted them.’

It is a very reasonable team of lawyers with clear concepts. They always provide us with security and tranquility with a superlative treatment. Gabriel Lozano, David Kasanzky, Maria Dolores Cedrone. They were very professional and, in addition, they were also flexible when reviewing the fee agreement in view of the exceptional circumstances that we are experiencing in 2020 as a result of Covid-19.’

Very close and accessible, as well as professional. All the professionals that make up the team are highly trained, up-to-date, and have suggestive experience to handle these types of issues.

Its professionals are excellent planners and quality in their presentations, they understand the business, they are dynamic and they perfectly manage the conflict.’

I can highlight the great capacity they have to anticipate issues that are to arise, excellent team building and conflict management.’

Key clients

Cargill

Patagonia Gold

Grisú

Grupo Assa Worldwide

Mitsubishi Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised corn and wheat production company Cargill on the acquisition of 40% shares owned by Ledesma in Glucovil Argentina; as a consequence, Cargill owns 70% and Ledesma the remaining 30%, with Cargill retaining a call option on the remaining shares of Ledesma until 2023.
  • Advised Patagonia Gold and its controlling shareholder on a reverse takeover transaction with Patagonia Gold (formerly Hunt Mining), including all associated antitrust filings.
  • Advising Grisú (a nightclub for students) in a cartel investigation initiated by an alleged competitor in the city of Bariloche – this is a leading case since the CNDC is conducting an investigation pursuant to the Antitrust Act No. 27,442; moreover, the case involved an injunction issued by the CNDC which we have successfully challenged, allowing the client to continue its operations while the case proceeds.

Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados

Taking pride in its cross-border expertise, Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados' practice has experience in the competition and antitrust laws of a range of jurisdictions, including the US and EU. The firm provides antitrust and competition advice on commercial behaviour and avoidance of anticompetitive practices, as well as assisting clients to establish competition compliance programs and undertake internal investigations. Antitrust specialist Aixa Sureda advises on transactions and compliance in the sector, and co-leads the team with Cristian Mitrani, who has experience counselling on competition law infringement cases. Key associate support in the area comes from senior Evangelina González Soldo.

Practice head(s):

Cristian Mitrani; Aixa Sureda

Key clients

Raízen Combustiveis

AP Moller – Maersk Group

Bunge Argentina

Hexagon PPM

LafargeHolcim Group

Libertad

Molinos Río de la Plata

Nidera

Southern Cross Group

Tenaris

Ysonut

Work highlights

  • Advised Raízen Combustiveis on merger control clearance in Argentina regarding its acquisition of Shell’s downstream assets in the country; the antitrust clearance process lasted nearly two years with in-depth analysis of several markets.
  • Advised Nider on a merger control clearance in Argentina regarding Syngenta Crop Protection’s acquisition of its seed business, a complex filing due to horizontal overlappings in several markets.
  • Advised Molinos regarding several regulations issued during 2020 in response to the COVID-19 crisis and which directly affect the food industry.

O'Farrell

The multidisciplinary team at O'Farrell is known for its ‘very good, up-to-date knowledge of the law applied to business’, as well as expertise in public utilities, public procurement, energy, heavily regulated markets and tariff review proceedings. This broad experience makes for a well-rounded antitrust practice, that can also draw on the firm’s strengths in the energy, telecom, infrastructure, retail, public utility, entertainment and automotive sectors. Practice head Agustin Siboldi specialises in antitrust, energy and natural resources, and telecommunications.

Practice head(s):

Agustín Siboldi

Testimonials

‘Very good, up-to-date knowledge of the law applied to business’

Key clients

Ford Argentina

Total

Amarillas Gas

Cañuelas Gas

Naturgy Spain

YPF Energía Eléctrica

Claro Argentina

Qatar Airlines

Latinoamericana de Energia

ENAEX

RPB Baggio

Transtelco (former Neutrona)

Work highlights

  • Advised CYCSA on the structuring of its agreements with electricity distribution companies in accordance with Antitrust Law and on dealing with the impact of new regulations for sharing infrastructure able to deploy telecommunications cables and equipment vis-à-vis its counterparts, electricity distribution companies across the country.
  • Advised ENAEX on the complex scenario presented by the country where imports’ payments are restricted and its competitor is in the process of putting into commercial operation a plant producing inputs  relevant to ENAEX, in relation to the process of negotiating a supply agreement in accordance with Antitrust Law and the  commercial loyalty regime.
  • Ongoing antitrust legal advice to Ford in connection with the consequences -under Argentina Antitrust law- of a global alliance with Volkswagen.

Salaverri, Burgio & Wetzler Malbran

Specialising in local, cross-border and multijurisdictional M&A transactions, Salaverri, Burgio & Wetzler Malbran’s competition team combines experts in M&A and private equity transactions, with litigators and regulatory lawyers, to advise on a range of antitrust analysis and filing issues. Tomás Arnaude leads the practice and is experienced in antitrust and corporate financings. Another key name in the area is Elena Sozzani, who focuses on M&A, antitrust, general corporate, real estate and financial law.

Practice head(s):

Tomás Arnaude

Key clients

Pampa Energía

Natura Cosméticos

YPF

Orígenes Seguros de Retiro

Avon Products

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel to Orígenes on its acquisition of Genes II Seguros de Retiro (formerly Metlife Seguros de Retiro) and the further clearance and mandatory antitrust filing with the Argentine Antitrust Authority.
  • Acted as counsel to Pampa Energía, as purchasers, in the financing of the acquisition of the Barragán thermal power plant from Integración Energética Argentina and in the mandatory antitrust filing with the Argentine Antitrust Authority.
  • Acted as counsel to Natura in the antitrust analysis prior to its merger with Avon Products, as wel as  acting as counsel to Natura in the mandatory antitrust filing with the Argentine Antitrust Authority following completion of the transaction.

Tanoira Cassagne Abogados

Tanoira Cassagne Abogados provides a full service in the competition area, including antitrust behaviours, merger notifications and litigation. The firm is recommended for an ‘ability to simplify language to make its points', with another client commenting that ‘a very important added value... is the constant anticipation of legal developments’. In relation to merger-control filings, the team advises on national and cross-border transactions in a range of sectors, including oil and gas, pharma, agribusiness and credit cards. Practice heads Francisco Rondoletti and Bernardo Cassagne are ‘quick, reliable, well connected and up to date with the issues’.

Practice head(s):

Bernardo Cassagne; Francisco Rondoletti

Testimonials

‘My experience with Tanoira has always been satisfying. They offer complete, quality advice with excellent technical knowledge’.

‘Respond adequately to inquiries with practical sense’.

‘Extensive experience in the subjects and high technical knowledge. Always also aware of the client’s needs’.

‘Tanoira Cassagne provides us with a comprehensive service, which includes not only advice on inquiries, but also the preparation of documents and anticipates news regarding Competition from the first moment’.

‘A very important added value that I highlight is the constant anticipation of legal developments. Every day they send projects discussions, new regulations that make it easier to anticipate and reflect these trends in business decisions’.

‘Great knowledge and practical experience in the matter. They are indisputable references in this service’.

‘Francisco Rondoletti & Bernardo Cassagne are the two individuals I’d like to comment on. They are the external counsels that I ‘d love others to try to mirror, for their ability to be part of my team: quick, realiable, well connected, up to date with the issues you name it!’

Key clients

Bayer/Monsanto

Telefonica

Saint Gobain

Nestlé

Unilever

Bridgestone

BASF

YPF

Pepsico

Shell

Equifax / Veraz

Remax

Natura/Avon

Philips

3M Argentina

Sanofi

Cabify

Saputo

Roche

Amposan (Rigolleau)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Experta ART, Prevención ART, and UART (Unión Aseguradoras de Riesgo del Trabajo) in a cartel investigation against several labour insurance companies.
  • Advised Shell/Equinor on merger notification filing of the joint acquisition of the 49% interest held by Schlumberger (SPM).

BRYA Abogados

Boutique BRYA Abogados advises on merger reviews, market investigations and anti-competitive behaviour issues. Another key segment for the practice is class actions and litigation related to anti-competitive behaviour. Competition expert Gabriel Bouzat and Virginia del Águila, who handles competition and M&A matters, are the key practice contacts.

Martínez de Hoz & Rueda

Martínez de Hoz & Rueda assists local and international clients with a range of transactions, as well as representing companies before the Argentine antitrust authorities and assisting them in obtaining approval in connection with acquisitions. The firm is recommended as a ‘reference in energy matters' with clients noting that 'its competition and antitrust team is very remarkable’. Public law expert Juan Cruz Azzarri leads the group and has experience in administrative, constitutional and competition law.

Practice head(s):

Juan Cruz Azzarri

Testimonials

‘We have had Antitrust presentations and all have been satisfactory’

‘Very high level of professionalism and personal contact’

‘Professionalism and knowledge’.

‘MHR is a reference in energy matters and its Competition and Antistrust team is very remarkable’.

‘Very good service from Juan Cruz Azzarri’.

‘Excellent relationship with Jose Martinez de Hoz, Pablo Rueda, Tomas Lannardonne and Juan Cruz Azzarri’.

Key clients

ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina

DeltaPatagonia

Trafigura Group Pte

Schlumberger Production Management (SPM)

Wintershall DEA Argentina

Work highlights

  • Advised Wintershall DEA regarding notification to the Argentine Antitrust Authorities of its acquisition of Gas y Petróleo del Neuquén’s 5% interest in the UT Aguada Federal and 50% of the ownership of the non-conventional exploitation concession Aguada Federal.
  • Represented DeltaPatagonia on its successful notification to the Argentine Antitrust Authorities regarding its acquisition of YPF’s contractual position in one hundred and twenty-four (124) fuel supply and service station contracts with service station operators  
  • Assisted Trafigura with its successful notification to the Argentine Antitrust Authorities regarding its acquisition of the downstream holdings of Pampa Energía.

Wiener Soto Caparrós

Wiener Soto Caparrós’ antitrust department assists with M&A clearance, merger control, government investigations, litigation and risk management planning, as well as providing relevant compliance and regulatory advisory. Practice head Mariela del Carmen Caparros specialises in antitrust advice to regulated industries, particularly in relation to merger compliance, regulatory, disclosure and merger review strategies; she also provides compliance training.

Practice head(s):

Mariela del Carmen Caparros

Key clients

Coca-Cola Andina Argentina

McCain Foods Limited

Hikvision

UPL Corporations

Jones Day

Ferro Corporation

Maxiconsumo

NSK Global

RPM International

Bid Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising Hikvision with respect to a recent issue involving business inducement.
  • Advice on (and analysisof) all aspects of Coca-Cola’s promo releases and discounts from the perspective of antitrust regulations, consumer protection laws, and fair-trade practices.
  • Advised Maxiconsumo on proposing to the National Administration the establishment of a Superintendency of Local Markets as the authority responsibe for enforcing the Shelf Law.