EU & Competition Compliance

The firm’s EU & Competition team advises and assists clients to fulfil their compliance obligations under the EU and competition rules.  Our expertise covers the following areas: EU internal market rules; merger control; joint ventures; cartels and concerted practices; vertical arrangements; antitrust rules for dominant businesses; state aid; and public procurement.

If this is your situation

If your business:

  • Requires a review of its compliance with the EU and Maltese competition rules and the setting up of processes to mitigate the risks of non-compliance.
  • Would like to compete confidently without fear of infringing the competition rules, and would like to be able to recognise when competitors and trading partners are acting anti-competitively.
  • Involves collaboration or discussions with competitors and you would like to ensure that such competitor contact does not fall foul of the competition rules.
  • Has a current or proposed distribution strategy which includes restraints that may need to be reviewed from a competition perspective to ensure they are valid and enforceable.
  • Enjoys substantial market power and you would like to ensure that its commercial behaviour does not constitute abuse of dominance.
  • Plans to acquire control of, merge with, or enter into a joint venture with another company and may require competition clearance.
  • Is active in a particular sector and you would like to increase awareness of the specific EU rules that apply to such sector.
  • Is undertaking a project involving State financing or public procurement and you would like to ensure compliance with the relevant EU rules.

PwC can help you

Our services include the following:

Competition compliance review

  • Competition audit: competition risk identification, assessment, advice on mitigation, and periodic risk reviews.
  • Establishing bespoke competition compliance frameworks, including compliance policies, training, and ongoing advice on competition compliance.

Competition advice on ongoing operations

  • Competition advice on cooperation between competitors, e.g. joint production, R&D, purchasing, or commercialisation (selling, distribution or promotion) agreements/practices.
  • Advice on vertical restraints in agreements with suppliers or distributors, e.g. territorial, customer and resale price restrictions.
  • Assessment of dominance and advice on abuse of dominance issues.

Merger control

  • Preliminary merger control assessment: jurisdictional assessment to determine whether a proposed merger, acquisition or joint venture will require clearance from the Office for Competition; and substantive assessment to evaluate potential competition risks.
  • Merger filings: preparation of the Concentration Notification Form and related documents, preliminary meetings with the Office for Competition, and ongoing support to obtain competition clearance.
  • Advice on merger control requirements in other jurisdictions.

Competition due diligence

  • Review of target/merging companies’ main commercial agreements to identify whether there are any competition risks relating to the enforceability of agreements, exposure to enforcement action and third party damages claims.

EU regulatory compliance

  • EU sector specific compliance: advice on compliance with the EU rules affecting a particular sector.
  • EU issue-specific compliance: advice on specific EU issues, e.g. single market/free movement issues and consumer protection.

State aid

  • State aid compliance advice on the financing structures for public undertakings and for services of general economic interests.
  • Advice to ensure that projects involving assistance provided by the State are compliant with the EU rules on state aid.

Public procurement 

  • Consultancy advice on public procurement rules, including advice on how to structure a transaction to ensure compliance with the relevant EU and national rules.

Relevant publications

Contacts

Neville Gatt
Tax and Legal Services Leader
Tel: +356 2564 6791
Email: neville.gatt@mt.pwc.com
Joseph M Muscat
Advisory Leader
Tel: +356 2564 7091
Email: joseph.muscat@mt.pwc.com