Competition economics

Competition policy in Europe is an essential part of the internal market. It is about the application of rules to ensure fair competition between companies.


European antitrust policy is based on two central pillars of the European Union:

  • First, Article 101 of the EU Treaty prohibits agreements between two or more independent operators which restrict competition.
  • Secondly, Article 102 of the EU Treaty prohibits companies from holding a dominant position in a particular market from abusing that position, for example by demanding unfair prices, restricting production or rejecting innovation to the detriment of consumers.

While companies that join forces (hereinafter referred to as mergers) can expand markets and benefit the economy, some combinations can restrict competition, usually by creating or strengthening a single dominant player.


The upheavals in the energy industry are also leading increasingly and repeatedly to mergers or demergers in the European energy industry.


The national and especially the European competition authorities DG Competition are repeatedly called upon to enforce the above-mentioned rules of the European market. As a result, there are frequent cartel proceedings in which both high penalties and/or conditions are imposed. Control of the implementation of the detailed terms and conditions is often entrusted by the competition authority to a market trustee. The Market Trustee's comprehensive knowledge of the energy market is then often required for energy management procedures.


We advise our customers in advance on how the competitive requirements can be met or how they could be designed constructively in the event of forthcoming requirements.


On the other hand, as energy experts in monitoring trustee teams, we support individual companies in complying with and implementing relevant measures in the energy market that the competition authorities have imposed on the company in merger control or market abuse proceedings.


Our comprehensive national and international market knowledge and many years of experience in matters of market regulation and competition form a firm grounding.





Dr. Christoph Merkel


+49(0)163 63 62 738