EU and competition in Austria
Binder Grösswang handles investigative and conceptual compliance mandates as well as the full range of EU and Austrian competition law including follow-on damage cases and matters with a white-collar criminal law aspect. Department head Raoul Hoffer excels in matters involving merger control, private enforcement and abuse of dominance, as well as those relating to data protection issues. Christine Dietz focuses her practice on state aid law and compliance as well as merger control proceedings and has particular expertise in the petrochemicals, transport and logistics sectors, among others. Counsel Isabelle Innerhofer has expertise in eDiscovery-based audits, private enforcement and distribution law, in particular assisting clients from the automotive and healthcare sectors.
‘BG’s competition law team is very responsive and works together seamlessly. They have a great knowledge of the Austrian cases and find a good approach to the authority.’
‘The team has an exceptional experience and deals with highly complex antitrust cases, always offering very practical and client oriented solutions.’
‘Christine Dietz is an outstanding individual advising on Austrian matters.’
‘Christine Dietz is highly responsive to client requests and reliably offers sensible (and commercially aware) advice. The associates that support her are generally highly competent.’
‘Isabelle Innerhofer is an intelligent lawyer and always thinks two steps ahead.’
‘Isabelle Innerhofer is an outstanding antitrust lawyer, always available and ready to offer practical solutions to very complex cases.’
‘Raoul Hoffer, Isabelle Innerhofer and Christine Dietz are outstanding antitrust lawyers and a great source of advice.’
‘Raoul Hoffer is super sharp and very concise in giving advice. He is a trusted source of advice.’
ÖBB Infrastruktur AG
City of Vienna
Region of Upper Austria
Indorama Ventures PCL
Magna International Europe
Coca-Cola HBC Austria
Lidl Österreich GmbH
- Acting as counsel for the City of Vienna in Austria’s biggest follow-on cartel damage proceedings before the Commercial Court of Vienna claiming damages for more than 7,000 elevators and escalators in claims worth more than €240m (including accrued interests) against ThyssenKrupp, Otis, Schindler and Kone.
- Represented the Association of Travel Agencies as a claimant against Lufthansa AG before the Cartel Court in an abuse of dominance case.
- Advised ÖBB InfrastrukturAG on a joint venture with voestalpine AG.
bpv Hügel's team is well known for its international cartel defence and abuse of dominance practice and its client portfolio contains Austrian blue chips and international corporates. Astrid Ablasser-Neuhuber and Florian Neumayr oversee the competition team lead and Christian Schneider is in charge of the EU department. Ablasser acts in a number of merger control matters and excels at representing clients in Austrian and European courts. Thanks to his expertise in dispute resolution, Neumayr also leads the subordinated antitrust litigation group alongside his private enforcement practice. Schneider is well renowned for his experience with regulatory matters in telecoms and oil and gas industries. As co-managing partner of the Brussels office, Gerhard Fussenegger assists the Austrian team with his EU competition expertise.
Astrid Ablasser-Neuhuber; Florian Neumayr; Christian Schneider
‘Excellent level of service, very short response times and ability to rapidly grasp the relevant issues.’
‘Gerhard Fussenegger and Astrid Ablasser provide quick, on-the-point, comprehensible hands-on support in competition law matters.’
‘Astrid Ablasser-Neuhuber has very broad experience, excellent knowledge of competition law, she always thinks outside the box and provides creative solutions and advice.’
A1 Telekom Austria
OMV AG /Gas Connect Austria
RWA Raiffeisen Ware Austria
card complete (Visa)
BAT British American Tobacco
Austrian Chamber of Pharmacists
Raiffeisen Holding Niederösterreich-Wien
- Represented Lekkerland in a prominent merger control case.
- Advising Österreichs Energie, the association of Austrian electricity undertakings, on all regulatory and competition matters relating to the common electricity market.
- Representing the Newspaper “Österreich” in proceedings against Wiener Linien before the Cartel Court.
Fielding an especially strong competition department including a team based in Brussels, Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte) covers the full range of competition law in Austria and throughout the Central and Eastern European region. The well-renowned practice is headed by Franz Urlesberger, who displays wide-ranging knowledge of multi-national competition law matters in CEE as well as merger control and anti-trust compliance programmes. Highly involved in competition-related public and private litigation, Hanno Wollmann also handles horizontal and vertical cooperation agreements for clients from a variety of sectors such as insurance, media, pharmaceuticals and energy. Counsel Stefanie Stegbauer mainly handles antitrust proceedings before the Austrian competitions authorities as well as the European commissions and is also active in merger control.
‘Great team, competent in all aspects of competition law.’
‘Franz Urlesberger is the top guy, he stands out due to his vast experience.’
‘Franz Urlesberger is a very smart lawyer.’
‘Franz Urlesberger is a very experienced and client-orientated cartel lawyer.’
‘Christoph Haid is great at making sure that cases in Middle and Eastern Europe run smoothly.’
‘Christoph Haid and Anna Turi are almost always available, have an excellent knowledge and give useful, practical advice.’
Altstoff Recycling Austria (ARA)
Funke Media Group (formerly WAZ)
Heineken / Brau Union
Japan Tobacco International
JCDecaux / Gewista
- Advising OMV on its largest transaction in history as lead antitrust counsel in its strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.
- Representing VOR in an Art 101 and Art 102 investigation by the European Commission into abusive and collusive behaviour regarding a regional transportation alliance.
- Advising Agrana International on a joint venture agreement with The Amalgamated Sugar Company relating to the construction of a betaine crystallisation plant at its sugar mill in Lower Austria.
Cerha Hempel acts for corporations from a wide range of sectors, including consumer goods, electronic goods, construction and IT, in cartel proceedings and on compliance matters. The team, which is led by merger control expert Bernhard Kofler-Senoner, is very active in the private enforcement of damage claims as well as in EU and state aid law. Anna Wolf-Posch excels at advisory work and frequently assists with the implementation of compliance systems. Merger control and fines proceedings are the particular strengths of counsel Michael Mayer's practice.
‘Team is both experienced and striving to always get better. They are indeed going the extra mile, if necessary, and come up with quick solutions.’
‘Easy and smooth day-to-day-cooperation, excellent legal skills, very good availability.’
‘Bernhard Kofler-Senoner is a very experienced practitioner with great overview of all relevant developments in competition law not only in Austria, but also in the EU and globally.’
‘Anna Wolf-Posch is a great competition lawyer, also when it comes to policy advice. It is wonderful to work with her because she understands the client’s needs and adopts the legal approach accordingly.’
‘Michael Mayer impressed us with his broad knowledge and concise and pragmatic advice.’
SPAR Österreichische Warenhandels-AG
Samsung Electronics Austria GmbH
Cisco Systems, Inc.
RHI Magnesita GmbH
- Represented Spar in a year long fines proceeding in Austria.
- Advised Samsung Electronics Austria GmbH on dominance and compliance matters related to its rebate schemes and price recommendations.
- Represented Lufthansa Group against LaudaMotion airline in cartel law questions regarding the termination of a lease of A320 aircraft.
Eisenberger & Herzog has an extensive internal investigations and cartel investigations practice, as part of which the firm also represents clients in national and European courts. Sector strengths include retail, pharmaceutical, media and gambling. Merger control and cartel damages proceedings as well as abuse of dominance and cartel cases form team leader Dieter Thalhammer's area of expertise. Judith Feldner is particularly knowledgeable in cartel cases and the coordination of leniency applications, also advising on compliance programmes and internal investigations.
Deutsche Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines
- Represented Styria in merger control proceedings before the Austrian FCA regarding the sale of 50% of its shares in Miss Media to two Swiss creative agencies.
- Represented William Hill in merger control proceedings before the Austrian FCA regarding the acquisition of Mr Green & Co AB.
- Advised BWT AG on its (indirect) joint acquisition of the ADA-group.
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte GmbH
Reidlinger Schatzmann Rechtsanwälte GmbH handles merger control matters, internal investigations, antitrust compliance as well as court representation. The competition team is led by co-managing partner Axel Reidlinger, who is particularly active in proceedings aimed at the enforcement of private claims. The firm's service portfolio further includes damage claims based on competition law infringements and legal advice on state staid. In January 2019, the department was strengthened by the arrival of Franz Stenitzer from bpv Hügel, an expert in merger control, cartels and other competition restrictions.
‘This is Austria’s competition law expertise at its finest.’
‘Axel Reidlinger has been around for a long time, there is probably nothing he has not seen.’
Österreichische Post AG (Austrian Post)
Plasser & Theurer Export von Bahnbaumaschinen Gesellschaft m.b.H.
Styria Media Group AG
Interseroh Austria GmbH
ENEL Green Power S.p.A.
Österreichische Fußball-Bundesliga (Austrian Football Association)
Österreichischer Verband der Markenartikelindustrie (Austrian Brand Association)
Ärztekammer Steiermark (Chamber of Styrian doctors)
- Advising Österreichische Fussball-Bundesliga (Austrian Football Association) on various competition aspects concerning the marketing of sports broadcasting rights.
- Acting for Enel Green Power S.p.A. on an EU-compliant legal framework for hydroelectric power plants
- Assisting Styria Media Group AG, with the competition aspects of ongoing cooperation projects in the media sectors of Austria and Slovenia.
The range of competition work offered by Saxinger, Chalupsky & Partners (SCWP Schindhelm) includes cooperation agreements, compliance, assistance during raids and merger control. The team has notable experience for clients from the retail, energy, construction and chemicals industries. Due, in part, to the firm's office in Brussels, it is regularly instructed in Europe-wide matters. Department lead Christina Hummer has particular expertise in cases revolving concerning abuse of dominance, merger filings and cartel investigations. Markus Fellner stands out for his competition disputes practice and represents large companies before Austrian and European competition authorities.
‘Big team of excellent lawyers available in one location, excellent availability and engagement.’
‘The team at SCWP always perform their work in a first class manner, just in time and with reliable results.’
‘Markus Fellner is precise in his advice and never loses the practical connections and needs of his client.’
Pierer Industrie AG (abatec)
Employees of Kaefer Isoliertechnik GmbH
HABAU Hoch- und Tiefbaugesellschaft m.b.H., Östu Stettin
KTM AG / KTM Industries AG
- Assisted major Austrian investment group Pierer Industrie AG with obtaining special approval for a transaction from the European Commission.
- Representing employees of Kaefer, a major Austrian industrial player, before the General Federal Competition Prosecutor and the Prosecutor for Corruption in a bid rigging cartel.
- Advising Hofer KG, the trading name of Aldi in Austria and Slovenia, on a range of critical completion issues regarding supplier relationships.
Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG undertakes merger control and cartel investigations as well as abuse of dominance cases on a national and international level. The firm's varied service portfolio is enhanced by industry experience in retail, consumer products, pharmaceutical, construction, and transport. Department head Günter Bauer has experience in a wide variety of matters, specifically in dominance issues, distribution and other vertical agreements. Similarly, counsel Robert Wagner focuses his practice on vertical restraints, cooperation agreements, dominance issues and private enforcement of competition law.
Boston Scientific Group
Deutsche Telekom/ T-Mobile
The Kraft Heinz Company
- Advising Also Holding AG, Switzerland, on a multi-jurisdictional acquisition and merger of competitors ABC Data S.A. and ABC Data Marketing sp. z o.o, Poland.
- Acting for Boston Scientific, an international manufacturer of medical devices, on all Austrian merger control aspects of its acquisition of BTG plc.
Baker McKenzie • Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG covers the full spectrum of competition law and provides one-stop-shop services for cross-border work thanks to the firm's international presence. Department head Andreas Traugott and his team put a strong focus on regulated industries and competitions law compliance. Furthermore, the department has experience with matters at the intersection of antitrust and energy law and handles litigation as well as arbitration.
‘The whole team performs very well as each individual’s role is clearly defined. Team members are professionals able to fully cover the topic.’
‘Marc Lager is an excellent antitrust lawyer. He is very responsive, smart and helpful. He has a strong understanding of our company.’
‘Andreas Traugott has been my go-to antitrust adviser for roughly a decade. He is the only one in this field that I know who can help me navigate tricky antitrust questions on the spot, provide me with a first rough estimate in minutes.’
Schindler Elevator and Escalator Group
SIX Austria (formerly Paylife Bank)
Platinum Equity Group
- Defending Schindler Elevator and Escalator Group in a number of proceedings related to antitrust damages claims.
- Defending the Austrian debit card provider SIX against private enforcement claims before the Austrian Civil Courts.
- Representation of Sappi Corporation in the Austrian merger control proceedings regarding the acquisition of the Matane Pulp Mill in Canada.
Barnert Egermann Illigasch Rechtsanwälte GmbH assists national and international blue-chip companies specifically with advisory and compliance work. The team, which is led by Isabella Hartung, also advises on merger control and acts in cartel cases. Hartung focuses her personal practice on competition advice, for instance on distribution matters, as well as contentious cartel proceedings. The department has industry experience in energy, transport, construction and media.
EVN AG/Netz Niederösterreich GmbH
ASFINAG Autobahnen- und Schnellstraßen-Finanzierungs-Aktiengesellschaft
- Obtained Austrian merger clearance for European Entertainment Intressenter BidCo AB regarding the public cash offer to the shareholders in Cherry AB to acquire all Cherry shares.
- Acted as Austrian counsel for competition- and merger control-related aspects of Bruker’s acquisition of Alicona Imaging GmbH.
- Assisted Amann Girrbach with distribution matters.
In addition to handling competition law advice and merger control work, CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH also represents clients in competition law disputes, particularly in cartel and cartel fines cases. The group also has strength in multinational leniency applications. Practice head Bernt Elsner specialises in antitrust compliance as well as anti-competitive behaviour in tender procedures and Dieter Zandler has additional expertise in antitrust damage actions.
Grupa Azoty S.A.
Atairos Group, Inc.
Gemaco Holding NV
Circle Media Group B.V.
Heta Asset Resolution AG (HETA)
- Advised Allianz Real Estate on all aspects of the acquisition of landmark office project “The Icon Vienna”, including Austrian merger control aspects.
- Assisted Atairos with Austrian competition law and represented the client in an Austrian merger control proceeding.
- Advised Alpla as lead counsel on the worldwide merger control aspects of its joint venture with paper packaging materials and solutions provider BillerudKorsnäs.
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach advises on all key areas of competition law at a national and European level. Working closely with the firm's German and Brussels offices, the team, which is led by Claudine Vartian, is often involved in multi-jurisdictional matters and has a notable strength in matters relating to abuse of market dominance. Additionally, Vartian and counsel Florian Schuhmacher frequently assist clients with questions regarding merger control.
‘The DLA practice is unique because of Florian Schuhmacher, whose main occupation is university professor at the faculty of law at the prestigious Vienna University. Thus, the natural strength of the team is work in matters which require academic skills.’
‘Florian Schuhmacher is certainly capable to get to the roots of competition problems.‘
Lufthansa AirPlus Servicekarten GmbH
Boston Consulting Group
Columbia Capital LLC
Arcelor Mittal Austria Holding GmbH
- Acting for Arcelor Mittal Austria Holding GmbH in a cartel-related proceeding regarding the closing and transfer of assets.
- Advised Singapur Technologies Engineering Ltd on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of 100% of the shares in Newtec Group, a Belgian satellite-technology company.
- Assisted Boston Consulting Group Inc with merger control matters regarding the acquisition of 38% of the shares in Machine Max Limited, UK.
Leniency and settlement cases at national and European level, merger control transactions as well as compliance work with a focus on healthcare are the strong suits of DORDA Rechtsanwaelte GmbH's competition practice. Practice head Heinrich Kühnert assists clients with a variety of antitrust matters, including state aid and follow-on damages actions. Of counsel Elisabeth König regularly implements compliance programmes, for example with regard to pricing or restrictions of parallel trade.
‘The team is very reactive, thoughtful and eager to understand its customer’s needs.’
‘Heinrich Kühnert is very experienced in cartel law and applies a practical approach rather than sticking to mere legal rule wording.’
Sazka Group a.s.
Novartis Pharma GmbH
GlaxoSmithKline Pharma GmbH
Kwizda Holding GmbH
Austrian Red Cross (Österreichisches Rotes Kreuz) Vienna Branch
M7 Group SA
Bose Products BV / Bose GmbH
Cordes & Graefe GK
Waldquelle Kobersdorf GmbH
HNA Group (International) Asset Management Company Limited
- Advised Sazka Group, a consumer gaming company, on all merger control aspects of its acquisition of shares in Casinos Austria Group.
- Advised Novartis Group and its affiliated companies, including Sandoz, on competition law compliance, including pricing,
- Represented Robopolis GmbH, a major European distributor of electronic consumer goods/appliances, in proceedings before the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (FCA) regarding alleged resale price maintenance.
Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners has a core focus on insolvency-related matters, for instance advising on short-term clearances. Lukas Flener, who leads the team, has particular experience in merger control filings and failing firm defence cases. Additionally, the team advises on a wide range of competition law including antitrust aspects of mergers and acquisitions in collaboration with M&A lead Markus Fellner.
‘The team is quick with their responses and very competent in competition topics.’
‘Markus Fellner and Lukas Flener are both highly experienced in their main topics and are always quickly available when we have a big problem to solve.’
KIKA / Leiner
Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC
Covis Holdings, L.P.
La Marzocco International, LLC
- Advised Cerberus portfolio company Covis on the multi-jurisdictional filing of the acquisition of certain pharmaceutical products from AstraZeneca.
- Assisted Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC with antitrust and merger control matters related to a joint venture for the production of certain sugar products.
- Advised luxury coffee machine brand La Marzocco on the acquisition of shares by coffee machine producer De Longhi.
Schima Mayer Starlinger Rechtsanwälte GmbH entered the market in 2018 following the merger between Starlinger Mayer and employment experts Kunz Schima Wallentin. Christian Mayer heads the EU and competition department with notable sector expertise in tourism, media and energy. He is well versed in handling immunity applications, on-site inspections, merger filings and anti-trust cases. Christoph Bezemek joined as of counsel in January 2019 to advise on state aid and competition matters.
‘The team’s pragmatic and goal-oriented approach makes it the go-to firm in competition law in Vienna.’
‘Moritz Am Ende is the go-to person for bullet proof antitrust advice.’
‘Christian Mayer and his team are very responsive, efficient, and provide excellent legal advice.’
‘Christian Mayer clearly stands out. He is a very likeable, charming individual. He knows what he is talking about, he does not digress in his advice into irrelevant or only theoretically/hypothetically relevant matters.’
‘Christian Mayer’s expertise in competition and antitrust law is excellent.‘
‘Christian Mayer is devoted to go the extra mile; exceptional knowledge and experience in all aspects of competition law.‘
Mediaprint Zeitungs- und Zeitschriftenverlag GmbH & Co KG
Trans Austria Gasleitung GmbH
Sri Trang Agro-Industries Public Company Limited
Montana Tech Components AG
Association of Austrian Hoteliers
Snow Space Salzburg Bergbahnen Aktiengesellschaft
- Represented Sri Trang Agro-Industries Public Company Limited, Sri Trang Holdings Co., Ltd., and Rubberland Products Co., Ltd. in competition law proceedings before the Austrian Cartel Court.
Taylor Wessing enwc Rechtsanwälte GmbH counts dawn raids and cartel court penalty proceedings among its core areas of expertise. The team covers every aspect of competition law and is led by Martin Eckel, who has particular experience in the design and implementation of competition compliance programmes including trainings and audits. Senior associate David Konrath advises clients from the insurance, logistics and transport industries on all areas of competition law, including contractual competition restraints.
‘Excellent praxis-oriented advice, fast responses and excellent industry knowledge.’
‘Martin Eckel is very hands-on.’
NIKE European Operations Netherlands B.V.
Österreichischer Automobil-, Motorrad- und Touring Club
Verband österreichischer Handelsunternehmen
Saint-Gobain Weber GmbH
Froneri Austria GmbH
ZAG – Zentrale Arbeitgemeinschaft der Österreichischen Geflügelwirtschaft
Ankerbrot GmbH & Co KG
Europapier Austria GmbH
Perlmooser Beton GmbH
Pernod Ricard Austria GmbH
grosso holding Gesellschaft mbH
Eternit Österreich GmbH
Roland Spedition GmbH
BGO Holding GmbH
Kirchdorfer Industries Group
Welser Profile GmbH
VÖB – Verband Österreichischer Beton- und Fertigteilwerke
Austro Holding GmbH
- Advising Rewe Group on the intended acquisition of Lekkerland, a major competitor in the food wholesale business
- Represented Saint-Gobain Weber GmbH, a subsidiary of the Saint-Gobain Group, in the merger control proceedings regarding the acquisition of Kaimann GmbH and the set-up of the joint venture SGTWO AG.
- Represented Ankerbrot vis-à-vis the competition authorities and before the Austrian Cartel Court regarding the allegation of resale price maintenance.