Competition law and consumer law practice

View this page in: Slovenčina Slovak and EU regulations require that undertakings conduct their business activities in a manner that does not result in restriction or elimination of competition. They apply to arrangements made by competitors, partners, suppliers and distributors, and extend also to intended M&A and JV transactions. Also the enforcement of state aid rules is conducted in order to protect competition. These regulations are complementary to consumer protection policy, which deploys both public and private enforcement measures. Broad investigatory powers (including the right to conduct inspections and searches) and increasingly severe fines imposed by the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic and the European Commission compel a careful review of market practices used by undertakings.
Our respective services cover in particular:

Advice related to competition and consumer law compliance

Advice related to competition and consumer law compliance constitutes the part of our practice, which aims at ensuring that undertakings comply with the laws that they are subject to. It includes both advice concerning legal risks connected with everyday operations, activities aimed at increasing managers’ and employees’ awareness of potential risks and preparing the personnel for a possible inspection by competition or consumer protection authorities, as well as supervision of the level of compliance. Our purpose in this area is to prevent risks, as well as identify problems and solve them.

We offer in particular the following services:

  • competition and consumer law consultation;
  • review of agreements and business practices from the viewpoint of compliance with competition and consumer law;
  • review of the operation of business associations from the viewpoint of compliance with competition law;
  • advice concerning commercial policies, pricing and marketing;
  • advice concerning distribution systems;
  • competition and consumer law training;
  • drafting and implementation of internal compliance procedures concerning competition and consumer laws;
  • preparation for inspections by the Antimonopoly Office of Slovak Republic or European Commission;
  • competition and consumer law compliance audit;
  • internal investigations related to suspected abuses of competition or consumer laws.

Transactional support concerning competition and consumer law issues

Transactional support concerning competition and consumer law issues includes all assistance related to transactions, which go beyond the everyday life of an undertaking. It applies primarily to mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and investment projects. This practice also involves advice related to the conclusion of important commercial agreements, development of distribution systems and preparation of consumer documentation. Our purpose in this area is to allow our clients pursue their goals, while avoiding legal risks.

We offer in particular the following services:

  • advice concerning competition law elements of M&A and JV transactions, including the due dilligence process;
  • setting up the transactional process in a way preventing the infringement of competition law, in particular through exchange of confidential business information among competitors
  • advice concerning contractual elements relevant from competition law viewpoint, in particular covenants not to compete;
  • checking merger control notification requirements;
  • leading the merger control process aimed at obtaining the approval of the the Antimonopoly Office of Slovak Republic or European Commission;
  • coordinating the merger control process aimed at obtaining approvals in other jurisdictions;
  • advice concerning the admissible forms of cooperation during the period leading up to the merger control clearance;
  • advice concerning competition law elements related to investment projects;
  • review of consortium agreements from the viewpoint of competition law compliance, in particular concerning anti-competitive agreements and state aid;
  • review of financing agreements and related security instruments, including guarantees and support agreements, from the viewpoint of state aid compliance;
  • advice related to the process of review and notification of state aid;
  • advice related to the running of tenders;
  • advice related to the conclusion of commercial agreements, concerning elements important from the viewpoint of competition law, including state aid regulations;
  • advice related to the preparation of consumer documentation, concerning elements important from the viewpoint of competition law, including the prohibition of abuse of dominance, as well as consumer law.

Advice and acting on regulatory matters concerning competition and consumer protection law

Advice and acting on regulatory matters concerning competition and consumer protection law concerns those cases, where the undertakings come in direct contact with authorities charged with competition or consumer protection. This practice involves preparation of undertakings for such contacts, assistance in developing the right strategy, and acting on regulatory mandates.

We offer in particular the following services:

  • representing undertakings in investigations conducted in connection with suspected infringements of competition law;
  • representing undertakings in investigations conducted in connection with suspected infringements of collective consumer interests;
  • preparing motions for consent decrees;
  • preparing leniency applications;
  • preparing merger control applications;
  • representing undertakings in merger control proceedings;
  • representing undertakings in investigations concerning suspected infringement of the notification requirement;
  • representing undertakings on matters concerning state aid, including applying for the opinion of the the Antimonopoly Office of Slovak Republic or in the course of the notification proceedings conducted by European Commission;
  • representing undertakings in market studies conducted by competition authorities;
  • drawing up notifications to competition authorities concerning infringements committed by other undertakings or related to the award to such undertakings of state aid incompatible with the internal market;

Advice and acting on contentious matters concerning competition and consumer protection law

 Advice and acting on contentious matters concerning competition and consumer protection law concerns those cases, where the protection of the undertaking’s interests requires a dispute with authorities charged with competition or consumer protection, or with private parties. This practice involves assessment of chances of success and risks connected with a dispute, assistance in developing the right strategy, and acting on such  mandates.
 

We offer in particular the following services:

  • advice and acting on mandates concerning appeals from decisions issued by competition and consumer protection authorities, in particular in cases involving anti-competitive practices or abuses of collective consumer interests;
  • advice and acting on mandates concerning the inscription in the register of prohibited clauses of provisions used in standard terms of business;
  • advice and acting on mandates concerning private enforcement actions brought in connection with alleged infringement of competition law or consumer rights;
  • advice and acting on mandates concerning recovery of state aid.