FDMA’s strong EU & Competition team has deep knowledge of the EU legal framework and significant know-how in advising a wide range of Greek and international clients on antitrust-related issues, including on cartel investigations, abuse of dominant position, merger control, and compliance of contracts and distribution network schemes with competition rules, as well as on State aid rules and proceedings. Professor Theodore Fortsakis, a recognized expert in the field, has long served as member of the Greek competition watchdog and our firm has supported the competition authority itself before Greek administrative courts in relation to matters falling under its jurisdiction. Moreover, our team provides regular advice to contractors and concessionaires of State-awarded contracts in relation to public contracting rules and procedures and to our firm’s high-profile client base in the defense sector, which includes the Airbus and Thales Groups and BAE Systems, on EU defense procurement rules in relation to their supply contracts in Greece.
We advise on the following:
- Cartels and abuse of dominant position matters;
- Rules applicable to regulated markets, monopolies and special regimes;
- Merger control and applications for clearance of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures;
- Appeals before the administrative courts against decisions and fines adopted by the Hellenic Competition Commission and the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission;
- State aid rules and proceedings;
- The formation and restructuring of contractual clauses and selective and exclusive distribution networks for purposes of competition-law compliance;
- EU rules relating to public contracts and defense procurement.
Recent key mandates of our EU & Competition practice include:
- advising, in the framework of a consortium of legal advisors, COSCO Pacific Limited and its fully-owned Greek subsidiary Piraeus Container Terminal SA, in relation to formal investigation proceedings instigated by the European Commission further to a formal complaint alleging possible violations of EU State aid rules by the Hellenic Republic arising in connection with the 2008 concession agreement awarding the long-term exploitation of, and provision of exclusive port management services at, the new container terminal of the port of Piraeus and/or the ratification law thereof;
- providing regular advice to the operator of the Piraeus port container terminal, a fully owned subsidiary of COSCO Group in Greece, on competition law aspects of its commercial contracts with shipping companies and suppliers as well as on the application of EU rules affecting customs practices and the customs treatment of counterfeit goods;
- acting as legal counsel to Vodafone in relation to its formal complaint before the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (acting as the national competition authority) raising allegations of competition law infringements in the form of abuse of dominant position by application of a margin squeeze in the Greek prepaid mobile telephony market by Cosmote SA, Greece’s largest mobile network operator;
- advising Public Power Corporation SA (PPC), the biggest power producer and electricity supply company in Greece, on certain aspects of its regulated tariff policy for the supply of electricity from the viewpoint of EU State aid rules. Our legal advice included the assessment of whether PPC’s private competitors may amount to recipients of illegal State aid by not including charges for the provision of services of general interest into their retail tariffs;
- advising the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) on legal compliance aspects pertaining to exclusive rights granted the Greek gaming and betting agency (OPAP SA) under European Union law;
- advising the Athens International Airport management company on legal compliance issues in respect of its envisaged participation in the international tender for the construction and operation of a new international airport in Greece under the applicable Greek and EU legal framework on merger control and public procurement.