Competition Team of the Year
This award will be given to the team based in either the UK or Brussels that can demonstrate crucial antitrust advice on a specific case, transaction or investigation, or was instrumental in steering a client through a regulatory minefield.
The firm successfully argued that Agents’ Mutual restrictions on members’ use of competing services was pro-competitive and that restriction of choice was not necessarily anti-competitive. This enabled the brand OnTheMarket to go up against the duopoly of Rightmove and Zoopla, demanding that estate agents only list properties on one additional portal other than OnTheMarket.
Ashurst - HIGHLY COMMENDED
Achieved unconditional Phase II clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority of Cardtronics’ $464m acquisition of DC Payments. This was achieved despite competition concerns raised in 848 local areas at Phase I, which to remedy would have resulted in DC Payments divesting of most of its UK business.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Representing DuPont in the EU Commission’s investigation into DuPont’s collaboration with Honeywell to develop a new refrigerant for automotive air conditioning systems. This involved the intersection between intellectual property and competition law over a failure to disclose IP during testing. After issuing a statement of objections in 2014, the Commission dropped its investigation last summer.
Securing Phase I CMA clearance for Mastercard’s £700m acquisition of VocaLink. This was only the second time that the CMA accepted non-structural remedies to avoid referring a matter to a Phase II investigation. The firm also persuaded the regulators that the case was most appropriately reviewed in the UK.
Sidley Austin/Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Stephen Kinsella, David Wood
Successfully representing complainants to Google’s alleged abuse of its dominant position in favouring its own shopping comparison service. This resulted in Google facing a €2.42bn fine from the European Commission for its abuse of dominance, which will now enable individual companies to pursue damages claims in the national courts.
Sullivan & Cromwell
Advising Diebold on its $1.8bn acquisition of Wincor Nixdorf, a deal that involved the combination of the world’s second and third-largest manufacturers of ATMs. The firm worked to create a ring-fencing structure that prevented the legacy businesses from integrating in the UK; this resulted in Diebold Nixdorf’s UK and Ireland-based businesses being sold to Cennox.