Competition in Hungary
Allen & Overy
Acting on high-profile cartel investigations, merger filing and abuse of dominance matters, Allen & Overy has carved out a significant reputation for its work on complex matters in the financial services and telecoms sectors. Magyar Telekom is a major client which the team is advising on a range of competition issues, including merger filing and a competition authority inquiry relating to a mobile network sharing arrangement. Counsel Tibor Szántó heads the team, which also includes senior associate Attila Kőmíves.
Magyar Telekom Nyrt.
ING Bank N.V. Hungary Branch
CIB Bank Zrt.
MKB Bank Nyrt
AEGON Magyarország Általános Biztosító Zrt.
UPC Magyarország Kft.
Citibank Europe Plc Hungarian Branch Office
- Representing Magyar Telekom in a high-profile inquiry by the Hungarian Competition Authority concerning a mobile network sharing arrangement with Telenor Hungary.
- Acting for ING in the European Court of Justice and Hungary’s Supreme Court, in connection with the court review of the Hungarian Competition Authority’s decision in its multilateral interchange fee investigation.
- Representing UPC Hungary in relation to an abuse of dominance investigation.
Andrékó Kinstellar's competition and state aid practice advises on a broad range of issues including complex cartel investigations, merger control, state aid, unfair trade and competition compliance matters. It provides a 'reliable and high-quality service, acting in a client-focused way and successfully assisting with the decision-making process of the client'. Péter Vörös heads the team, which was further boosted by the hire of Mónika Nacsa, who joined from the Hungarian Competition Authority in 2019. Associate Orsolya Staniszewski is also noted.
‘The team demonstrates high level of expertise and professionalism, delivered all materials at a high quality, with plain language and on time, communicates its legal standpoint clearly considering all aspects of the legal question which supported the clients to make a well-founded decision.‘
‘The strength of the team is the high level of experience and knowledge in the field of the competition law, reliability, direct communication and continuous availability.‘
‘Péter Vörös has a deep knowledge of the pharma industry, he understands the business structure and the economic environment of the pharma sector. He always goes straight to the point, summarises the case and the consequences well.‘
- Successfully represented Energizer Holdings in proceedings concerning the fixing of a fee forming an element of the price.
- Representing Raiffeisen Bank in a high-profile cartel investigation by the Hungarian Competition Authority and before Hungarian courts and in the repeated procedure concerning the sanctions for unlawful coordination regarding HUF-based mortgages.
- Advising MET Group on the merger control aspects of the acquisition of the Hungarian operations of Eni’s gas distribution operations.
CMS is praised for its 'deep knowledge of competition law with a practical client-oriented approach'. The team assists clients with a wide range of competition law issues including dawn raid, abuse of dominance, consumer protection, and merger clearance. The team continues to advise a list of well-known clients in the healthcare and TMT sectors, and recently IBM, Lufthansa, Bonafarm, among others, as new clients. Practice head Dóra Petrányi has notable antitrust expertise in the hi-tech, TMT, life sciences and consumer products sector. Senior counsel Szabolcs Szendrő is 'excellent in competition matters, always concentrating on finding the best solution for the client'. Senior associate Nóra Jekkel is also highly recommended.
Dóra Petrányi; Gabriella Ormai
‘Quick reaction time, professionalism, and good relationship management.‘
‘Experienced and speaks the business language.‘
‘Szabolcs Szendrő makes a great appearance in front of court with detailed knowledge of law combined with a sheer willingness to win the case.‘
‘Szabolcs Szendrő is excellent in competition matters, always concentrating on finding the best solution for the client.‘
‘The team has deep knowledge of competition law with a practical client-oriented approach.‘
Invitel Group/CEE Equity Partners
4Life and Red Sands Group
Johnson & Johnson
Magyar RTL Televízió
- Advised OPT Bank on cross-border merger clearance following its acquisition of Société Générale’s subsidiaries in six jurisdictions in the region.
- Successfully represented Magyar Telekom in a comparative advertising dispute.
- Advised Liberty Global on the merger notification submitted to the European Commission relating to the sale of its Hungarian operation to Vodafone and M7.
Dentons' competition team, which is jointly led by Tihamér Tóth and Tünde Gönczöl, regularly handles merger filing relating to sizeable M&A transactions, as well as state aid and abuse of dominance cases. Recent highlights also include successfully representing Budapest Airport in a number of abuse of dominance investigations; acting for Chemium in a competition supervision proceeding initiated by the Hungarian Competition Authority based on alleged cartel activity; and advising a leading Hungarian medical devices trading company on its competition compliance programme. Associate Áron Károlyi-Szabó is also noted.
Tihamér Tóth; Tünde Gönczöl
Dante International SA
Extreme Digital Zrt.
- Advising the Hungarian subsidiary of leading Swedish personal care products company Essity on various competition law matters after successfully representing it in a cartel investigation initiated by the Hungarian Competition Authority against the household paper producers Essity and Vajda-Papír Kft., together with retailers Metro, Spar, Auchan, Tesco and DM, based on allegations of price fixing via hub and spoke arrangements.
- Assisting Extreme Digital Zrt. and Dante International with the merger clearance matters relating to its merger with eMAG Hungary.
- Acting for Nestlé on issues concerning distribution agreements and unfair competition matters, and on compliance matters.
Hegymegi-Barakonyi and Partner Baker & McKenzie Attorneys-at-Law regularly handles CEE region-wide competition mandates including dawn raids, cartel investigations, merger control clearance, abuse of dominance, and competition compliance matters. Clients single out its 'practical approach - the team always looks for a way to resolve the issue with the least burden on the client'. Zoltán Hegymegi-Barakonyi is, according to one client, 'currently the most experienced competition lawyer in town with a wide range of competition experience'; he jointly leads the team with the 'client-oriented' Márton Horányi. The group also includes András Horváth, who is particularly experienced in the automotive sector, and new arrival David Adamov, who is 'conscientious' and has notable expertise in compliance matters where he is able to leverage his previous experience working in-house at MOL.
Zoltán Hegymegi-Barakonyi; Márton Horányi
‘András Horváth, Márton Horányi and Zoltán Hegymegi-Barakonyi are well-known experts on antitrust law, they are the best choice to handle sensitive competition law cases. They understand and help the business aspects and needs of the clients.‘
‘Practical approach – the team always looks for a way to resolve the issue with the least burden on the client.‘
‘The competition practice group is the best in the city, all members are up to date, have great in-depth theoretical knowledge and practical experience as well.‘
‘Zoltán Hegymegi-Barakonyi is currently the most experienced competition lawyer in town with a wide range of competition experience.‘
‘Marton Horányi has a very pragmatical approach.‘
- Successfully defended Ideal Standard in a cartel investigation by the Hungarian Competition Authority.
- Successfully obtained a merger control clearance for a shop-in-shop arrangement between Tesco and Media Markt Saturn.
- Successfully represented a leading global IT and tech company in an unfair commercial practices investigation by the Hungarian Competition Authority.
Lakatos, Köves and Partners
Lakatos, Köves and Partners is singled out for its 'open-minded approach, ability to find efficient solutions and excellent availability'. The team handles merger control issues arising in relation to multi-jurisdictional corporate transactions, as well as cartel investigations and litigation, unfair competition advertisement investigations, abuse of dominance and competition compliance matters. Eszter Ritter, Ádám Máttyus and Iván Sólyom are the main contacts.
Eszter Ritter; Iván Sólyom
‘The team has committed and engaged lawyers who provide smart practical solutions.‘
‘Open-minded approach, ability to find efficient solutions and excellent availability.’
Mastercard Europe SA
Karlovarské mineralní vodi a.s.
- Advising Facebook Ireland on an ongoing investigation into misleading consumers.
- Acted for Vodafone on the competition aspects of its acquisition of Liberty Global’s operation in Hungary.
- Representing Mastercard before the Hungarian Competition Office in an alleged abuse of dominant position case.
Oppenheim Ugyvedi Iroda's dedicated competition team handles a broad spread of antitrust matters, ranging from cartel investigations to state aid matters. The team is particularly active in the energy, telecoms and banking sectors. Competition specialist Gábor Fejes focuses on cartel and compliance matters, while the highly regarded Zoltán Marosi specialises in abuse of dominance, merger control and state aid matters. Marosi represents clients in court, and recently acted for Artisjus in an abuse of dominance case. Associate Balázs Csépai is also a name to note.
Hungarian Banking Association
- Advising Netrisk on a highly complex merger deal involving the first and second largest insurance agency on the Hungarian market.
- Successfully representing the Hungarian Banking Association as well as a consortium of major banks (including OTP Bank, CIB Bank, Raiffeisen Bank and Unicredit Bank) in the judicial review of the Hungarian Competition Authority’s decision imposing a HUF4bn fine for a highly complex information exchange scheme, entitled BankAdat, involving issues relating to the competition effects of information exchange agreements.
- Representing Artisjus in the review of the enforcement of a complex commitments package by the Hungarian Competition Authority and, independently, representing Artisjus in a private enforcement case involving allegations of abuse of dominant position and the conclusion of an anti-competitive agreement.
Bassola Law Firm
At Bassola Law Firm, highly regarded competition specialist Bálint Bassola is representing a number of transport companies in follow-on judicial proceedings regarding the European Commission's antitrust decision imposing a fine of €2.9bn onto the members of the European truck cartel. Cartel investigation, compliance, and merger clearance also feature in its recent workload.
‘Bálint Bassola together with all his team members are paying the utmost attention to the particular needs of the client, examine any given task in its complexity and in the very details when rendering their on-time service to the client.‘
‘Bálint Bassola’s experience in competition authority proceedings is impressive.‘
AAA Auto Hungary
AAA Auto International
Farmker / Anthera / Baki Agrocentrum
- Representing a number of transport companies in follow-on judicial proceedings regarding the European Commission’s antitrust decision imposing a fine of €2.9bn onto members of the European truck cartel.
- Acting for AAA Auto Hungary as well as AAA Auto International in proceedings before the Hungarian Competition Authority and in a judicial appeal.
- Assisting OTP Bank with the merger clearance relating to its acquisition of ShiwaForce.com.
CERHA HEMPEL Dezső & Partners is well versed in the full range of issues in the competition space, acting on merger control issues, cartel cases, unfair commercial practices issues, dawn raids, and private enforcement litigation. Tamás Polauf's team was strengthened in 2019 by the hire of senior associates Gergely Barabás, who joined from Budapest Capital regional court, and Márton Osztheimer who joined from Noerr. Márton Kocsis moved to an in-house position with MOL Group.
‘The team has extensive know-how and is able to get a good grasp on matters very quickly.‘
‘Tamás Polauf has enormous expertise and an efficient working style, and has excellent communication skills.‘
‘Márton Osztheimer gives practical advice and Gergely Barabás is highly pragmatic and efficient.‘
‘CHSH is always willing to work with clients to find an appropriate and satisfactory budget.‘
‘The team is highly competent, reliable and above all, proactive with youthful energy. Their flexibility, creativity and experience in international transactions, the excellent teamwork and efficient time management contribute to the successful cooperation with the clients.‘
MKB Bank Zrt.
Vagyonvédelem 2000 Kft.
- Advising Vagyonvédelem 2000 Kft, an online distributor of security products, on competition law issues related to vertical restraints.
- Advised MKB Bank Zrt. on a number of competition law issues including compliance and regulatory matters, internal investigations and representation before the Hungarian Competition Authority.
- Acting for Zerlux on various competition law issues concerning research and development activities in the energy sector.
DLA Piper restructured its competition team with the hire of the former head of legal and compliance at Metro Cash & Carry Hungary, Péter Sükösd, to replace István Szathmáry who left for an in-house role. The team's recent caseload includes a mix of merger clearance, compliance, unfair commercial practices, state aid and day-to-day competition support matters.
‘Péter Sükösd is a talented young lawyer, with significant experience. He delivers practical advice and focuses on the merits of each case. His background makes him a good advisor, who understands the needs of the client’s business.‘
WHB Befektetési Kft. (WHB Group)
Raiffeisen Bank Zrt.
OTP Ingatlan Alapkezelő Zrt
Júlia Malom Kft.
McDonalds’s Restaurant Operations Inc.
HUPX Ltd. Hungarian Power Exchange Company Limited by Shares
- Successfully represented new clients WHB Befektetési Kft. and Építő-és Épületkarbantartó in a merger clearance proceeding.
- Advising Raiffeisen Bank Zrt. on the merger clearance relating to its acquisition of a performing loan portfolio held by Aegon.
- Acted for Montel Kft. and ITVK Bt. in alleged price fixing and vertical restraints investigation by the Hungarian Competition Authority.
Schoenherr Hetényi Ügyvédi Iroda represents clients before the Hungarian Cometition Authority in cartel cases, merger control filings, unfair commercial practice cases, and follow-on damages litigation. The team has seen an increase in consumer protection cases. Recent work includes acting for Fressnapf in judicial review proceedings pertaining to a Hungarian Competition Authority decision. Counsel Anna Turi heads the team.
‘Anna Turi is organized, helpful and knowledgeable about how the Hungarian courts and judges operate.‘
Bell Food Group
Erste Bank Hungary Zrt.
Husqvarna Magyarország Kft
- Advised Erste Group on the merger clearance relating to its acquisition of a large Hungarian financial services provider.
- Representing Fressnapf-Hungária Kft. in a judicial review procedure pertaining to fines imposed by the Hungarian Competition Authority for alleged unfair commercial practices.
- Representing a multinational automotive company in follow-on damage claims procedures.
Szecskay Attorneys at Law is experienced in investigation, follow-on litigation, investigation and merger control filings, and is particularly active in the TMT sector. The team is representing Digi before the HCA in the re-examination of the merger between the client and Invitel. In other work, it acted for M7 Group before the HCA in obtaining merger control approval for its acquisition of UPC DTH. Anikó Keller leads the team, which also includes János Vajda; who handles cartel cases and advertising law matters; Miklós Boronkay, who focuses on antitrust damages litigation; and Sam MacMahon Baldwin, who advises on merger control and abuse of dominance matters.
M7 Group S.A.
ETS Efficient Technical Solutions GmbH
- Acted for M7 Group before the HCA in obtaining merger control approval of its acquisition of UPC DTH.
- Representing Digi before the HCA in the re-examination of the merger between the two competitors, Digi and Invitel.
- Representing Philips in cartel investigation proceedings initiated by the Hungarian Competition Authority concerning alleged anti-competitive conduct related to public tenders for medical imaging products.
KLART Szabó Legal
Partos & Noblet in co-operation with Hogan Lovells International LLP's 'client-focused' antitrust and competition team, which us led by counsel Akos Kovách, has 'comprehensive experience and deep knowledge of competition law matters'. It is active in complex merger control filings, with expertise also covering cartel investigations, dawn raid, and compliance matters.
‘Excellent competition law, civil law and financial law knowledge. Wide international network with knowledge sharing.‘
‘Comprehensive experience and deep knowledge of competition law matters.‘
‘Ákos Kovách’s client care is excellent. His advice considers all possible risks and proposes risk-mitigant solutions. He knows very well the local environment.‘
Magyar Cetelem Bank Zrt.
BNP Paribas Hungary Branch
NKM Földgázszolgáltató Zrt.
- Acting for Digi in merger control proceedings relating to a cable network acquisition.
- Representing Nufarm in cartel investigations before the HCA.
- Advised MOL on the competition law implications of a cross-border project, a joint action by several consortium partners for the implementation of charging infrastructure for e-mobility services in Central and Eastern Europe.
Réti, Várszegi and Partners PwC Legal
Réti, Várszegi and Partners PwC Legal's recent highlights include representing an industrial operator in a price-fixing-related cartel case, and acting for a pharmaceutical company before the Hungarian Competition Authority in a number of unfair commercial practice cases. László Réti is the key name to note.
László Réti; Peter Zalai; Judit Firniksz; Borbála Dömötörfy
Siegler Bird & Bird Ügyvédi Iroda handles multi-jurisdictional merger control filings, competition-related litigation, and cartel, vertical restraints and abuse of dominance cases. Special counsel László Zlatarov and senior associate Dániel Arányi are recommended.
Heineken Hungaria Breweries Plc
Sió-Eckes-Granini Group GmbH
- Advising Wing Group on the acquisition and merger filing of Elitur Kft. and Strabag PFS Kft.
- Advising Sió-Eckeson the competition law and consumer protection aspects of advertisement campaigns, slogans and product packaging.
- Assisting Yokological with the competition law aspects of its franchise agreement.
Szabo Kelemen & Partners Attorneys
Szabo Kelemen & Partners Attorneys handles merger control and cartel investigations for clients in the financial services, manufacturing, commodity trading and insurance sectors. Practice head László Kelemen and Balázs Dominek are the key names to note.
- Assisting Lightware with establishing its compliance structure.
VJT & Partners' 'pragmatic and practical approach to individual matters' makes it stand out. Andrea Belényi advises clients from a broad range of industries on issues relating to marketing campaigns relating to unfair market practice. Cartel investigations and merger control clearance also feature in its recent workload.
‘Pragmatic and very practical approach to individual matters which makes their service super efficient. They give the comfort and security that cases are in the best hands.‘
‘Andrea Belényi is super efficient and knowledgeable.‘