Our law firm has developed a strong and successful practice covering all areas of antitrust and competition law, including merger control, cartel investigations, abuse of dominant position, unfair competition, establishment and operation of distribution systems, antitrust disputes, compliance and counseling, sector regulation and state aid. We advise many of the leading businesses established in the country on their global antitrust policies, litigation and regulatory strategies.
A significant part of our antitrust practice involves counseling clients concerning contemplated mergers, joint ventures and similar transactions, and advising clients in literally all phases of the merger control process from preliminary assessment of the antitrust issues, advising on merger notifications to the successful obtainment of concentration clearance. We have specific expertise in advising public authorities on compliance with state aid rules.
ANG has extensive experience in antitrust and competition litigation. We have successfully represented both defendant and plaintiff sides of antitrust and competition matters in many landmark cases before the competition authority and the courts. We handle antitrust cases related to abuse of dominant position, cartel investigations, unfair trade practices, predatory pricing and price discrimination cases, cross subsidizing, cases alleging vertical restraints etc.
Below are outlined representative examples of our most recent experience:
- ANG represented Swissport, the biggest independent global ground handling services provider, in several national and EU proceedings. Among them are two major competition cases against competitors of the company before the Commission for Protection of the Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court concerning abuse of dominant position and price dumping policy based on an infringement of the Council Directive 96/67/EC. Our team also represents Swissport before the European Commission in the context of a procedure for infringement of EU law against Bulgaria for failure to apply Council Directive 96/67/EC on access to the ground-handling market.
- ANG successfully represented the local subsidiary of Sodexo Group before the Commission for Protection of Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court in a procedure for alleged violation by Sodexo and two other companies of the antitrust rules consisting in prohibited concerted practices (cartel), initiated by a competitor of Sodexo. ANG is advising Sodexo on a constant basis on competition related matters to ensure full compliance with applicable regulations in the sector.
- ANG represents Sofiyska Voda – the water service operator of the city of Sofia, subsidiary of Veolia, before the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court in a landmark case against a sanction imposed by the Commission for Protection of the Competition for alleged violation of antitrust rules.
- Our law firm was entrusted with the defense of the Bulgarian licensee of the Green Dot trademark in a widely discussed case concerning the competition aspects of the use of the mark on the Bulgarian market, which was dealing with the fundamental question for the limits of protection of the intellectual property rights in a pluralistic market economy.
- ANG represented Industrial Commerce, the exclusive Hyundai distributor in Bulgaria and Macedonia, before the European Commission in relation to a case concerning the compliance of its distribution network with Bulgarian and EU competition rules. The firm also advises on the EU competition aspects in a case in which the Bulgarian competition authority imposed a record fine of EUR 8 mln.
- ANG advised Renault Trucks on a number of competition related issues including on the application of the block exemption regulations in Bulgaria (EC Regulation 461/2010; EC Regulation 330/2010; EC Regulation 1400/2002) in the motor vehicle sector.
- ANG advised Publicis Groupe on number of competition and concentration issues and helped it to obtain the necessary concentration clearance in a takeover process involving leading local advertising and PR agency.
- ANG advised Expur in the obtainment of a concentration clearance from the Bulgarian antitrust authority, required for execution of the acquisition by Expur of assets of Cargill Oils SA in the oil sector.
- ANG introduced a new distribution model in Bulgaria of Limagrain Group – leading European company, specialized in seeds and cereals products based on a thorough legal analysis of the distribution practices applied by company in the light of the Bulgarian and EU antitrust legislation.