EU & Competition
Media, Communications & Technology
Regulatory - Electronic communications
EU & Competition
Competition authorities including the European Commission and national competition authorities have extensive powers to investigate anti-competitive practices. Furthermore, many sectoral regulators have powers to enforce competition law against businesses operating within their sectors. Olswang has a wealth of experience advising clients involved in competition law investigations:
- Cartel investigations and dawn raids: The competition authorities in the EU and throughout the world are prioritising the detection and punishment of cartel activity. Our team has experience advising clients which are the subject of an investigation (both at a national level and multi-jurisdictionally) - often this involves dealing with dawn raids and responding to detailed information requests. Where relevant we can help clients to prepare leniency applications.
- Abuse of a dominant position: We have experience advising companies who are the subject of allegations of abuse of a dominant position and face complaints or investigations.
- Market and sector investigations: Competition authorities are also concentrating on markets which they consider not to be operating in the best interests of consumers. We often advise clients affected by such investigations and provide advice including considering the client's strategic goals, drafting submissions on their behalf and representing them at hearings.
- Submitting complaints: We can help to distil competition law arguments and prepare complaints to the competition authorities.
In addition, merger control is a key part of our competition practice. We handle merger filings before the European Commission and the Belgian Competition Authority, and coordinate multiple jurisdictions filings throughout the world.
We also assist clients on complex issues in the public-private area, including questions relating to the provision of financial assistance by EU governments and public bodies (State aid). We also advise on general EU law issues, such as free movement rules and compliance of national legislation and regulations with EU law.
Finally, we assist clients in competition law compliance and risk management work. Our work in this field includes analysing business strategies, practices and agreements, auditing business practices and providing tailor-made competition law compliance training sessions.
Our team has a great deal of experience liaising and negotiating with the European Commission and national competition and regulatory authorities. These established relationships can be invaluable when representing clients which are subject to an investigation.
For further information, please contact Dirk Van Liedekerke.
Our exceptional understanding of the technology, communications, life sciences, fashion and media sectors ensures we offer insightful and commercially focused advice on all aspects of IP.
Litigation - Over the past year, we obtained a number of high-profile victories for our clients before the Belgian courts as well as before the Court of Justice of the European Union, in such sectors as fashion, retail, media and biotechnology. We currently represent clients in IP disputes concerning film, music, fashion, pharmaceuticals, toys, replica weapons and agricultural machinery.
IP transactions and strategies - On the transactional front, we advise clients on copyright issues relating to film and television productions, publishing and e-commerce initiatives. We devise tailor-made IP strategies for clients in the fashion, toys and life sciences sectors.
Counterfeiting - With 40 million counterfeited goods seized in the EU in 2012 according to the European Commission, we strongly advise clients to file applications for EU Custom Action with their Member State Custom Authority in order to secure cross-border IP rights protection. With the entry into force on 1 January 2014 of the New EU Customs Enforcement Regulation No 608/2013, replacing the former EU Custom Regulation No 1383/2003, we can advise clients on the two types of custom actions they can resort to in case of suspected counterfeiting. We also facilitate close relationships with key EU Customs Authorities, including the Belgian Custom Authority; this ensures that custom actions are considered efficiently.
Portfolio management - Our work advising clients with substantial IP portfolios that are central to the success of their respective businesses is a testament to our expertise and integrated approach. Through our European offices or in collaboration with trusted colleagues from our longstanding worldwide network, we manage international portfolios, co-ordinating multiple oppositions, revocation actions and litigation in different jurisdictions. We enable our clients to grow their market position and increase their revenue.
Thought leadership - True to Olswang's dedication to thought leadership, we organise regular events to keep our clients up to date of recent developments in those sectors and service areas we know best. Over the past year, Olswang Brussels hosted and/or spoke at a number of professional events and seminars on such diverse topics as the IP aspects of fashion, convergence in the media and technology sectors, the recent developments in supplementary protection certificates law, the patent aspects of technological standardisation and copyright issues in the pharmaceutical industry.
For further information, please contact Christine De Keersmaeker.
Media, Communication and Technology
Film and television-we have extensive experience in film and television production, including all aspects of creation and financing through the tax shelter system. Together with our leading Film & TV teams inLondonandBerlin, we advise leading players in this industry including Belgian, US andUKfinanciers and independent production companies. Our experience in digital media and convergence adds an extra dimension to the advice we can offer.
Music-we advise music production companies on all commercial aspects of music production and distribution including related copyright and neighbouring rights issues. And in this ever evolving technological environment, we also advise businesses that use music online.
Broadcasting-we advise on traditional and new forms of programming, taking into consideration the latest technologies that are redefining the way media companies connect with their customers such as interactive TV, mobile technology and video on demand.
Publishing-our expertise covers the digital market as well as traditional print. We have experience in assisting publishers in their convergence into other media through acquisitions, joint ventures and co-operation agreements.
Internet and e-commerce- In addition, we advise on e-commerce, privacy, data protection, advertising, marketing and IT issues. Our clients include leaders in the media, internet and e-commerce sectors, and leading developers and distributors of technology, including online gaming.
View our testimonials here.
For further information, please contact Christine De Keersmaeker or Dirk Van Liedekerke.
Regulatory - Electronic Communications
Olswang Brussels offers a wealth of experience in the field of national and EU regulation with specific emphasis on the electronic communications sector. We assist and co-operate with our clients to help them achieve their business goals in regulated industries such as telecommunications (fixed, mobile, satellite, cable TV and the Internet), media, gambling and energy.
In dealing with regulated industries, we can rely on our long standing experience in EU, competition and litigation matters as well as on our expertise in all different and complex forms of mandatory and voluntary co-operation between sector players. Industry knowledge is key to the value of our services and therefore we invest in monitoring very closely any new trends and phenomena. The Olswang network of offices, located in different key jurisdictions and each with regulatory capabilities, assists us in anticipating new developments and benchmarking possible solutions that can help change the face of our client's business.
We assist our clients in understanding the limits and the opportunities that sector regulation entails for them. We help them in their dealings with the competent authorities be it through participating in public consultations, in securing the required regulatory approvals and/or in applying for the relevant permits and/or licences. As regulation does not necessarily evolve at the pace of industry developments, we understand that we need to think ahead, develop innovative and creative solutions and defend them forcefully and convincingly.
We are committed to remaining experts in the regulated fields in which we act.
For further information, please contact Dirk Van Liedekerke.