EU and Competition Law


Working with Portolano’s competition law and EU team gives the feeling of being looked after by professionals, as well as nice and friendly people. Among other things, we would like to mention the strict adherence to deadlines and the reliability.”
Our firm provides assistance in the area of EU and competition law before the the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante per la Concorrenza ed il Mercato, or AGCM), the European Commission, and national and EU courts.

Our professionals have experience in many different industrial and economic sectors and a long and deep track record. This is especially true in high-tech sectors (Internet, audiovisual, media, digital technology, life sciences, and healthcare), where intellectual property plays a decisive role. We also have a strong focus on the media and publishing markets, as well as experience in the traditional automotive business, fashion and luxury, and food and beverage — all of which are undergoing intense digitalization.

One of our firm’s great strengths is our ability to efficiently combine the skills of our various attorneys and staff members to offer a full range of services, including assistance and strategic consultation on highly complex and multifaceted issues with intersecting and overlapping sector regulations, competition and consumer protection norms, data protection regulations, and rules on free movement within the EU, especially with regard to the Digital Single Market Strategy.

Our team has more than twenty years of experience in antitrust law. We have worked alongside many multinational companies and appeared before the highest national and EC courts in proceedings regarding cartels and abuses of dominant position and concentrations between undertakings.

Our professionals also have wide-ranging experience in designing antitrust compliance programs, assisting in private antitrust litigation, and in the analysis and assessment of exclusive and selective distribution (especially in the online environment) and vertical agreements in general, as well as antitrust issues connected to the transfer of technology, intellectual property, and data protection in the digital sector.

Over the years we have consulted for large corporations and financial institutions on matters of state aid and in proceedings appealing European Commission and AGCM decisions before EU and Italian courts. Our team regularly works with economists and academics and cooperates with other departments within the firm to offer well-rounded assistance that fully meets client needs.

In addition to antitrust issues, the firm has an extensive experience in assisting companies during proceedings touching on unfair commercial practices, other breaches of the Consumer Code, abuse of economic dependence, and unfair practices pursuant to Art. 62 Decree-Law 1/2012, which fall within the the AGCM remit.

With regard to general EU law, our attorneys have significant experience in assistance and litigation involving national State measures restricting free movement of goods, persons, capital and services and the potential remedies to be pursued in cases of infringement of rules protecting the Single Market, as they have handled many proceedings entailing references for preliminary rulings before the Court of Justice of the European Union, infringement proceedings against Member States before the European Commission, and petitions to the European Parliament. The firm’s team has solid experience with structural funds and in tightly regulated sectors, including Digital, Media & Technology and Life Sciences.

Below is a list of just some of our firm’s work in this area:

  • Day-by-day assistance to multinational groups with regard to antitrust matters and risk assessment entailing the implementation of selective, exclusive franchising distribution systems under EU Regulations No. 330/2010 and No. 461/2010, while providing ongoing oversight of litigation touching on abuse of dominant position, abuse of economic dependence, unfair competition, updating antitrust compliance programs, stand-alone judicial proceedings, and self-assessment pursuant to Reg. 1/2003/EC.
  • Global assistance to a multinational leader in its market in antitrust cartel and restrictive agreement proceedings with EU and national impact before the European Commission and the AGCM, dawn raids, concentration notification, implementation and updating antitrust compliance programs for various group companies, self-assessment pursuant to Reg. 1/2003/EC (including previous advance notification procedures) with reference to horizontal cooperation agreements and vertical agreements, general compliance matters, and unfair commercial practices.
  • Assisting several multinational companies in leniency proceedings regarding European Commission cartel investigations, in later appellate phases before the General Court of the European Union, and in the management of follow-on damages.
  • Assisting one of the leading global players in the technology sector in self assessing strategic horizontal cooperation agreements pursuant to Reg. 1/2003/EC based on exemptions for the category, as well as updating and adjusting antitrust compliance programs.
  • Advising large multinational companies in the setting up and reviewing their brick and mortal, online, selective and non-selective distribution systems, in compliance with EU Regulation No. 330/2010, as well as updating policies on unfair commercial practices and resale price maintenance.
  • Defending a multinational in a lawsuit where damages were sought upon termination of a distribution relationship, allegedly due to an antitrust offense.
  • Assistance to leading global players in a cartel and abuse of dominant position proceedings before the AGCM and the European Commission and later judicial challenges before European and national courts and updating of antitrust compliance policies.
  • Ongoing assistance to multinationals in the audiovisual, publishing, and advertising fields with regard to negotiating content licensing and distribution agreements, antitrust assessment, and notification with the European Commission regarding joint ventures with competitors, as well as with regard to participating in auctions of TV rights to the Serie A soccer league and other sports (including in related proceedings with the AGCM).
  • Continuously assisting a group of multi-utility companies about EU and Italian merger control proceedings (including the closing of a European Commission investigation into “gun jumping” with no infraction found) and competition law issues in public tenders.
  • Assisting national and multinational companies in matters of notification and authorization of concentrations with the AGCM and the European Commission, multi-jurisdictional coordination of merger control proceedings, negotiation and design of potential remedies to concentrations and in representing a third-party in opposing a merger.
  • Assisting in preparing and filing antitrust complaints with the AGCM and the European Commission to pursue antitrust infringements or the use of so called “advocacy powers” of the AGCM to challenge restrictive public measures.
  • Designing and implementing antitrust compliance programs in line with AGCM guidelines and international requirements, and tailored to fit the specific needs of individual companies and the specific markets involved.
  • Assisting numerous companies in investigations before AGCM for unfair commercial practices, with a focus on limiting the potential liability of digital service platforms, and challenging sanctions before the administrative Courts (Regional Administrative Tribunal, and the Council of State), including submitting requests for preliminary rulings to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
  • Consulting and assisting both in and out of court on matters of abuse of economic dependence.

The team’s main quality is the ability to combine knowledge and experience in complex matters with ease of interpretation for clients."
Clients are delighted to work with Portolano Cavallo; in addition to being excellent professionals, the practice’s members have very pleasant personalities, which helps to minimise the stress of legal disputes."


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