Our economic system is based on the free play of market forces. However, some state intervention may be necessary to supplement and correct the free operation of markets in order to promote competition and/or the common good. Typical examples of state intervention in the area of business include the so-called regulation, competition and cartel law as well as procurement law.
Regulation provides a framework for certain economic sectors in order to enable competition in the first place or to put an end to monopolies and information asymmetries. The areas that have especially in recent decades been subject to intense regulation typically relate to services of public interest that were previously taken care of by the state: energy supply, water and waste water management, telecommunications and waste management. We advise our clients on all regulatory matters, from unbundling to the calculation of (network) fees through to metering. In this area, our working group AK REGTP provides invaluable assistance in all questions of regulation management, focussing particularly on the needs of network operators.
It is not only the sector-specific regulations, but also cartel law which heavily influences our entire economic landscape. We are experienced in assisting with company mergers (merger control), helping companies with structuring mergers and filing the necessary applications. We advise our clients on how to design their activities in conformity with cartel law requirements, particularly where business cooperations are concerned or where a company holds a dominant market position. We also support companies in their fight against anti-competitive behaviour of other companies and represent them before judicial institutions at all levels.
Public procurement is governed by procurement law. The requirements placed on public authorities and undertakings have been significantly tightened particularly due to case law established by the European Court of Justice. However, public tenders are not always obligatory. Rather, it depends on a variety of factors whether tendering is mandatory and which form it should take. We provide comprehensive advice on all legal questions that may arise in this context.