Competition in Switzerland
Homburger has an established competition team, which covers the full scope of matters, ranging from advising on regulated markets, EU law and merger control filings as well as representing national and international companies in proceedings. Department head Marcel Dietrich has a comprehensive practice and more than 20 years of experience in the field. Franz Hoffet is the other key contact at the firm; he is particularly well versed in administrative and civil antitrust litigation. Richard Stäuber, who has the same focus, made partner in early 2020.
‘Homburger has various technical experts and can provide fast support at any time.’
‘Franz Hoffet is a proven expert in antitrust law.‘
China National Chemical
Infront Sport & Media
Medical Properties Trust
The Swatch Group
- Representing Clariant in multi-jurisdictional merger control procedures.
- Acting for Eli Lilly in an investigation concerning alleged vertical price fixing.
- Advised Bristol-Myers Squibb on the competition law aspects of its acquisition of Celgene.
The team at Lenz & Staehelin is highly regarded for its broad coverage of the competition area, with expertise in cartel investigations, abuse of dominant position, dawn raids, and leniency procedures, among others. It has a strong line-up with key individuals including Marcel Meinhardt and Benoît Merkt, who are experts in merger control matters; and Astrid Waser, who is particularly well versed in the gas and electricity industry. Senior associate Sevan Antreasyan is also recommended. Felix Prümmer, formerly counsel, left the firm.
Marcel Meinhardt; Benoît Merkt
‘One of the best competition teams, both in merger control and antitrust litigation. It has extensive experience and high capability to deliver top-notch advice.‘
‘LS combines technical excellence with commercial pragmatism.’
‘Benoît Merkt is a highly recognized professional, very well known for cartels, abuses of dominant position and complex merger cases.’
‘Sevan Antreasyan is responsive, accurate, and quick to understand client needs.’
‘Lenz & Staehelin’s competition and antitrust law team is probably the team with most experience in Switzerland. They are involved in all important cases. Therefore they are really focussed on competition and antitrust law and spend all or most of there time in this field of practice.’
‘Marcel Meinhardt: He is just brilliant. He is probably one of the most competent specialists for competition and antitrust law in Switzerland. Collaboration with him is a pleasure. Astrid Waser: She is brilliant, too. However focussed more on public procurement law.‘
‘The team of Marcel Meinhardt is involved in more or less every big action in Switzerland. So their practice know-how is all-embracing.’
European Broadcasting Union
Geistlich Pharma AG
Swisscom / CT Cinetrade AG / Teleclub
- Acted for PostFinance in a debit card investigation by the Swiss Competition Commission alleging the boycott of mobile payment solutions from international providers.
- Represented Ticketcorner in its appeal against the Swiss Competition Commission’s decision to prohibit the merger of Ticketcorner and Starticket.
- Advised AZ Medien and NZZ-Mediengruppe on the competition aspects of the set up of its joint venture for regional media business.
Walder Wyss Switzerland Global has noteworthy expertise in all matters relating to merger filings. The group is also involved in advising on market dominance, agreements and compliance, as well as representation in proceedings. Reto Jacobs leads the group and is frequently sought out by national and international companies seeking competition counsel. Counsel Daniel Zimmerli and managing associate Gion Giger are also noted.
‘The team of Walder Wyss is very well organized and aligned with other practice groups if necessary. It has a consistent approach of giving legal advice.’
‘Reto Jacobs, Gion Giger and Daniel Zimmerli are very experienced lawyers, who understand business models quickly and give comprehensible and valuable advice.’
Die Schweizerische Post AG (Swiss Post)
Schweizerische Bundesbahnen SBB
- Assisted SBB Cargo, Hupac and Contargo with the filing of a merger notification before the Swiss Competition Commission regarding the acquisition of Gateway Basel Nord.
- Acting for Swisscom in its appeal before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court regarding the fine imposed by the Swiss Competition Commission for an alleged price squeeze in the broadband market.
- Assisted Tamedia with the merger clearance relating to its acquisition of Goldbach Group.
The competition team at Bär & Karrer Ltd. is noted for its experience in acting for clients in investigations initiated by the ComCo regarding the alleged abuse of a dominant position or cartels. Furthermore, it advises national and international companies from a variety of industries on antitrust matters as well as merger control proceedings. Practice head and key contact Mani Reinert is a dedicated practitioner in the space, who is also well versed in dawn raids, compliance programmes and distribution networks.
Allianz Suisse Versicherungs-Gesellschaft
CSA Credit Suisse Anlagestiftung
- Advised Blackstone on competition law matters in connection with its acquisition of CRH’s European distribution business.
- Assisted Aduno Group with the acquisition of Accarda.
- Advised Primeo Energie and CSA Energie-Infrastructure Schweiz on competition aspects of their acquisition from Elétricité de France of a 25% interest in Alpiq.
Baker McKenzie acts for an impressive client portfolio, which includes multiple international household names from various industries. The team, which is kept busy handling matters relating to merger control issues, cartels, dominance and compliance, is able to draw on the strength of its global network. Practice head Philippe Reich is experienced in competition, corporate and commercial law. Boris Wenger is another key practitioner.
‘The team is highly competent and has strong knowledge of the market.’
‘Boris Wenger has an exceptional understanding of business needs as well as industry characteristics and dynamics.’
Carlsberg / Feldschlösschen
Swiss Payment Association
Smith & Nephew
- Assisted Mövenpick Group with the merger control filings regarding the sale of its entire hotels and resort business to Accor Group.
- Advised the Swiss Payment Association SPA on antitrust compliance issues.
- Represented MUFG Bank in the Swiss Competition Commission’s Forex investigation.
The competition team at CMS has considerable experience in antitrust administrative proceedings, compliance programmes and has access to an extensive international network for cross-border mandates. Patrick Sommer, who is a key name for corporate and M&A work, and Pascal Favre, who specialises in distribution law, jointly lead the practice. Marquard Christen combines competition and public procurement expertise. The group is also well versed in civil proceedings as well as unfair competition law.
‘CMS team is extremely professional and competent. Very well knowledgeable and connected with the competition authorities. The team is very well integrated with the other practices of the firm and collaboration goes seamlessly. ‘
‘The cooperation with CMS is of an exceptionally high level of quality and responsiveness. The answers were always fast and the advice given precise.‘
‘Marquard Christen is the partner to go to for excellent competition law work and also for public procurement law. He is very skilled and a thorough sharp analyst who is highly pragmatic at the same time.’
‘Pascal Favre is a very good counsel: diligent, reactive and delivering clever advice.’
Bank Julius Bär & Co. AG
Bayer (Switzerland) AG
Credit Suisse / Swisscard
Hawa Sliding Solutions AG
Holcim (Schweiz) AG
Koch Group AG
Sunrise Communications Ltd
Swiss Refugee Council
- Acting for a financial services provider in an investigation by the Competition Commission regarding an alleged boycott of international mobile payment solutions.
- Defending an international automobile manufacturer in civil antitrust proceedings against a potential workshop/repairer that has filed a claim with a Swiss court in order to be admitted to the selective network of repairers of the manufacturer in Switzerland.
- Acted for Bank Julius Bär in two investigations by the Swiss competition authorities regarding an alleged manipulation on the markets for foreign exchange rates and an alleged coordination amongst banks of prices for metal.
Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd's practice is led by Mario Strebel, who is well versed in handling issues relating to regulated markets. The team advises on merger control notifications, antitrust compliance programmes, distribution and free trade agreements, and also acts for clients in dominance cases, proceedings, and cartel investigations. The group frequently collaborates with the firm's other departments, including IP and M&A. Christophe Rapin joined Kellerhals Carrard in 2020.
‘The team is highly enthusiastic and flexible while at the same time very approachable.’
‘The practitioners know the different regulators and the Swiss Competition Authority as well as the local judges very well.’
‘Mario Strebel is very sociable and uncomplicated. Furthermore, he is always reachable and provides the most effective support with hands-on advice.’
Cousins Material House Ltd
Sunrise (Sunrise Communications AG | Sunrise Communications Group AG)
- Advised Sunrise Communications Group on all competition law aspects of its CHF6.3bn acquisition of UPC.
- Representing Cousins in a dispute against Swatch alleging abuse of a dominant position.
- Acting for SAS Cargo Group in proceedings relating to the air cargo cartel in Switzerland.
Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd's broad competition practice is well versed in cross-border investigations, dawn raids and merger control procedures. The impressive client portfolio consists of national and international companies from the telecoms, media, energy, financial services, retail and consumer products sector, among others. Practice head David Mamane is highly regarded for his expertise in regulated industries, while Roland Mathys has a background in ICT and IP law. Counsel Frank Bremer joined from Lenz & Staehelin in July 2019 and adds to the firm's strength in antitrust proceedings. Of counsel Peter Georg Picht is also noted. Samuel Hagenstein-Jost left for an in-house position at Vetter Pharma in early 2019
‘Excellent team in Switzerland present in a lot of major investigations of the Swiss Competition Commission and being in particular renowned for merger control work.’
‘David Mamane has a broad understanding and works extremely quick minded, and is always available.’
‘Frank Bremer has to be pointed out as an outstanding competition lawyer with thorough knowledge of Swiss and EU competition law. He is highly skilled and very thorough in everything he does.‘
Philip Morris International
Gazprom Marketing & Trading
SIX Interbank Clearing
Warner Music Group
CSL Behring AG
Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG
Gasverbund Mittelland (GVM)
Industrielle Werke Basel (IWB)
Energie Wasser Luzern
Rheinmetal Air Defence
Procter & Gamble
- Advised Bouygues Construction on the regulatory, public procurement and competition law aspects of its CHF850m acquisition of Alpiq Engineering Services.
- Coordinated the international merger control procedure for Panalpina Welttransport relating to a $4.1bn takeover approach made by DSV.
- Acting for Husqvarna with regards to the Swiss Competition Commission investigation regarding the sale of motor fuel.
VISCHER's team is a popular choice for numerous national and international companies from the TMT, finance, pharmaceutical, and automotive industries as well as branded products. Practice head Klaus Neff is a specialist in acting for clients in administrative and civil proceedings related to competition, as well as in merger control proceedings. He is supported by managing associate Thomas Steiner, who is also a key name for data and technology law.
Royal Bank of Scotland
Swiss International Air Lines
Brenntag Schweizerhall AG
Bregal Unternehmerkapital GmbH
- Assisted Bregal Unternehmerkapital with the merger control notification regarding its strategic alliance between its Embassy Jewel and the Kirchhofer Group.
- Representing RBS in the investigations by the Swiss Competition Commission into libor and forex trading-related conduct.
- Acted for Air Canada in connection with the publication by the ComCo of its air-freight decision.
Kellerhals Carrard has considerable experience in cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, merger control filings and compliance mandates. The team is often engaged by companies from the life science, construction and media industry. Berne-based Daniel Emch leads the group and is also well versed in handling disputes before the civil courts and private enforcement cases. Daniel Lengauer combines expertise in M&A transactions and competition. Associate Stefanie Schuler, who is also based in Berne, is noted. Christophe Rapin joined from Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd in 2020.
‘Kellerhals Carrard’s competition team is equally distinguished by its excellent knowledge of all areas of competition law and by its extensive practical experience in applications in many market sectors.‘
‘Kellerhals Carrard has profound knowledge of both competition law and the Swiss healthcare law, and the two team collaborate very smoothly.‘
‘Daniel Emch: uncomplicated, direct and very communicative, he understands the client’s concerns and is able to use his team’s resources very effectively and efficiently for their benefit. This results in legal documents and other work that do not fail to have an effect on authorities and courts.‘
‘Stefanie Schuler has deep knowledge of the subject and the current developments in the market.‘
Swiss Football League
Swiss Broadcasting Company SRG
Kieswerk Heimberg AG
Nobel Biocare AG
- Representing various clients in appeal procedures before the Federal Administrative Court and the Supreme Court.
- Represented Erne Holding against a decision of the Competition Commission relating to a bid rigging case.
- Assisted the Swiss Football League in matters of antitrust law relating to the licensing of TV and media rights.
The team at Niederer Kraft Frey AG is regularly instructed by clients from a variety of industries, such as automotive, life sciences, insurance, consumer goods, and retail, among others. Led by Nicolas Birkhäuser, the group is experienced in investigations, M&A transactions, and drafting agreements, as well as cartels and abuse of dominance. Thomas Frick, who is well versed in the finance industry, is another key practitioner.
Credit Suisse AG
Atos / Worldline
Capvis Equity V LP
Coop Genossenschaft (CoopCooperative)
Procter & Gamble
CLS Bank International
ASSA ABLOY AB
Chr. Hansen Holding A/S
Birchmeier Bau AG
- Assisting Procter & Gamble with competition law matters in Switzerland
- Advised CLS on the enforceability of rules and regulations vis-à-vis its clearing members.
- Acted for Chr. Hansen Holding on negotiations and drafting of the joint venture and IP license agreements.
The competition team at Prager Dreifuss AG works closely with the firm's Brussels office, and acts for clients in cartel and merger proceedings, as well as handling Swiss and EU competition law more generally. Philipp Zurkinden also has notable experience in abuse of dominant position cases. He is supported by counsel Bernhard Lauterburg, who has particular knowledge in public procurement matters.
‘The team provides extraordinary service with regard to any question related to competition law. It has a deep understanding of corporate needs and an efficient and productive way of collaborating. The honest and critical feedback given throughout the mandate is very helpful.‘
‘Philipp Zurkinden and Bernhard Lauterburg have profound knowledge of the law in combination with always providing up to date information about the most recent practice of the authorities; this makes them a team beyond the value.’
Schweizerische Mobiliar Versicherungsgesellschaft AG
State Secretary for Economy
Sunrise Communication Group
- Advising Promarca on cartel law issues.
- Assisted Alluvia Group with regard to an investigation of the Swiss Competition Authority in the gravel and cement area.
- Held compliance courses for Schweizerische MobiliarVersicherungsgesellschaft.
The competition practice at Wenger & Vieli LTD has a good coverage of the market, with expertise in reviewing, drafting and negotiating contracts, merger control filings, cartel investigations and compliance programmes. Practice head Urs Weber-Stecher is also active in international arbitration proceedings in the field, while Frank Scherrer knows the pharmaceutical sector particularly well. Michael Tschudin made partner at the beginning of 2020 and is another key contact.
‘Great team in Switzerland present in several major investigations of the Swiss Competition Commission.’
‘Michael Tschudin is the partner to go to for excellent competition law work. He has an excellent understanding of Swiss and EU competition law and his previous experience provides him an outstanding skill-set to perfectly serve his clients needs.’
Oberholzer Bauleistungen AG
- Represented Oberholzer Bauleistungen in an investigation regarding alleged bid rigging.
- Acted for an air cargo company in the Swiss air cargo case.
Pestalozzi covers a wide range of competition matters, from merger notifications and leniency applications to dawn raids and cartel investigations. The group also advises on matters relating to WTO, customs, and registrations. Christoph Lang, who leads the practice, combines expertise in Swiss and European antitrust law with M&A and corporate knowledge. Lorenza Ferrari Hofer specialises in the life science space. Christian Roos and associate Severin Etzensperger are also prominent practitioners.
‘The team has know-how and experience in distribution matters.‘
Johnson & Johnson
British American Tobacco
- Assisted Ringier with the competition law aspects relating separate acquisitions of Brätschi Media and cash zweiplus AG.
With specialists in Berne and Basel, the competition team at Wenger Plattner is well positioned in the Swiss market. The team advises on a variety of Swiss and EU competition law matters as well as on distribution agreements, compliance programmes and contracts. It is jointly led by Fritz Rothenbühler, who has a core focus representing clients in merger control proceedings, and Basel-based Dieter Gränicher, who is also regularly involved in contentious cases. Senior associate Sébastien Gobat is also noted.
Fritz Rothenbühler; Dieter Gränicher
- Acted for different companies in a Competition Commission investigation involving gravel, concrete and asphalt companies for alleged unauthorised market and price fixing.