Thorsten Mäger is a partner in the Düsseldorf office of Hengeler Mueller. His work focuses on EU and German competition law including cartel investigations, cartel damages claims and merger control cases. Thorsten’s recent merger control cases include Volkswagen’s takeover of MAN, the planned container liner shipping joint venture (P3) between AP Moeller Maersk, CMA CGM and MSC, and BHP Billiton’s planned iron ore joint venture with Rio Tinto. He is the editor of a key German textbook on European competition law.
Florian von Schreitter is a senior associate in the Düsseldorf office of Hengeler Mueller. His practice focuses on cartel investigations, merger control cases, abuse of dominance questions and compliance issues. His recent merger control cases include the planned merger between wafer fabrication equipment suppliers Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron, the acquisition of semi-conductor supplier Linear Technology by Analog Devices, the planned joint venture (P3) between AP Moeller Maersk, CMA CGM and MSC, the merger of npower with SSE’s domestic energy retail operations in Great Britain and the acquisition of certain assets of telecommunications operator Liberty Global by Vodafone. He is author of numerous publications, in particular on the imposition of cartel fines.
1 What kinds of infringement has the antitrust authority been focusing on recently? Have any industry sectors been under particular scrutiny?
In the past year, the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) again dealt with cases in a broad range of sectors, including harbour towage services, and sanitary wholesale, newspapers, steel, and bituminous mixtures but also rather niche sectors such as bicycle wholesale or potato and onion packaging. It also fined certain companies that lease magazine packages to customers such as hair salons or bars. In total, the FCO imposed fines of around €376 million on 22 companies and 20 individuals.
In 2018, vertical price fixing continued to play an important role in the investigations by the cartel authority; the FCO still considers these practices to be widespread across industries. Already in 2016, the FCO had completed the last proceedings of the vertical price-fixing case in the grocery retail sector (referred to as ‘the vertical case’ by the FCO), thereby closing one of the largest cases in the history of the authority, with a total of fines imposed of about €260.5 million. As the FCO is of the view that the grocery retail sector remains highly concentrated it will continue to be the subject of close scrutiny going forward. Accordingly, 2017 saw the FCO publishing guidelines for both food manufacturers and food retailers to raise awareness for which measures the authority considers permissible and which it does not. While this was a direct response to the vertical case, these guidelines are considered to have implications for other industries as well and were animatedly debated both before and after their final publication. Actual fines imposed in 2018 for infringements of the prohibition of vertical price fixing concerned a company active in bicycle wholesale.
The FCO also dealt with horizontal cases that led to fines in the sanitary wholesaler sector for alleged price-fixing agreements. Other notable cases concerned fines against newspaper publishers for territorial restrictions and against steel producers for price fixing and the exchange of competitively sensitive information. This was the lead case in terms of fines in 2018, with the total amount imposed exceeding €200 million; similar to other large cases in recent years, the investigation was initiated by a sector-wide dawn raid following a leniency application.
Regarding abuse proceedings, the FCO has meanwhile finally concluded its investigation against Facebook on suspicion of its abuse of market power by infringing data protection rules. The FCO came to confirm its preliminary view of December 2017 and found that Facebook’s collection and use of data from third-party sources is abusive. The FCO held that Facebook is abusing its dominant position in a German market for social networks by making the use of its social network conditional on consumers permitting Facebook to limitlessly amass every kind of data generated by consumers using third-party websites and merging it with the users’ respective Facebook accounts. According to the FCO, Facebook’s terms of service allowing for that kind of data collection are in violation of the European data protection rules, detrimentally affecting users. As a result of the proceedings, the FCO has prohibited Facebook from combining user data from different sources without obtaining a user’s voluntary consent. If consent is not given for data from Facebook-owned services and third-party websites, Facebook will have to substantially restrict its collection and combining of data. Facebook is to develop proposals for solutions to this effect. The case was closely watched by other competition authorities, including the European Commission, and the FCO was closely cooperating with data protection authorities with a view to the data protection issues of the case.
As a sort of by-product of the Facebook investigation, the FCO has also launched a sector inquiry into market conditions in the online advertising sector, which has an estimated market volume in Germany of €5 billion–€9 billion. The inquiry is focused on the effects of current and foreseeable technical developments on the market structure and the market opportunities of the various players; it is currently still in its early stages, with a first set of questionnaires sent out to market participants in spring 2018. The inquiry is still ongoing. The FCO engages in such inquiries when it has reason to believe that competition in the sector is limited or distorted.
Further concerning the online sector, the FCO initiated another abuse proceeding in late 2018, this time against Amazon. The goal of the proceeding, which is still in very early stages, is to examine its terms of business and practices towards sellers on its German marketplace amazon.de.
2 What do recent investigations in your jurisdiction teach us?
Investigations by the FCO can be triggered by various events; for example, the authority can receive complaints from a third party or it reacts to media reports. Information can also be given to the FCO anonymously via its website, or via email or telephone. Another important source of information for the FCO is whistle-blowers from existing cartels. These can be the companies themselves or their employees. A whistle-blower can profit from the FCO’s leniency programme. The information received through all these different channels led to seven dawn raids involving a total of 51 companies. In 2018, 21 companies provided information about cartel law infringements by applying for the leniency programme.
The aggregate of fines recently imposed is lower than in the record year of 2014, which saw a total of over €1 billion of fines imposed. That said, the total amount for 2018 (€376 million) is the second highest in the past 10 years. This shows that the FCO remains very active in terms of antitrust proceedings and we are aware that there are currently a number of cartel investigations ongoing. As a matter of fact, we expect the number of proceedings and the amount of fines to at least stay on 2018 levels, if not increase. The FCO has associated the decrease in fines between 2014 and 2017 with a perceived ‘liability loophole’ based on which companies were, under specific circumstances, able to dodge fines by carrying out restructuring measures. However, this loophole was closed in mid-2017. Also, investigations such as the one concerning Facebook underline the FCO’s prevailing willingness to decide on matters for which there is currently no European practice. The authority remains unafraid of entering uncharted territory and prides itself on spearheading developments in competition law in Europe. Companies should be aware that they can be confronted with novel antitrust issues in Germany, including those that have not yet been raised elsewhere or that are handled differently in other countries. This concerns, in particular, the e-commerce sector as the FCO is still receiving numerous complaints from retailers about online trading, and is known to take a more critical stance on online sales restrictions (in particular platform bans, but also resale price maintenance) than the European Commission. It is the stated goal of the authority to keep the e-commerce channel ‘decongested’.
3 How is the leniency system developing, and which factors should clients consider before applying for leniency?
The FCO’s approach to leniency has not changed compared to previous years. According to its leniency programme, the FCO can grant immunity to the first cooperating cartel member and reduce the fines of others. Therefore, it is decisive to act early. Only the first cartel member that contacts the FCO will be granted immunity. Time is also an issue for the information the whistle-blower has to provide. If the FCO does not yet have sufficient information to obtain a search warrant, the leniency applicant only needs to provide enough information to enable the FCO to do so. If, however, the FCO already obtained a search warrant based on its information and evidence, the leniency applicant has to provide enough information so that the FCO can prove the cartel law infringement.
While there are no specific provisions for cooperating parties that come in second, third, etc, the fines for latecomers may still be reduced by up to 50 per cent if the cartel participant provides substantial evidence of the infringement. However, the amount of the reduction will essentially depend on the value of the evidence provided. Of course, it will usually be easier to provide sufficiently valuable evidence not yet known to the FCO at an early stage of the proceedings.
To secure the first position in the leniency application, there is a marker system. The FCO usually grants an extended time frame of eight weeks to submit a leniency application after a marker was set. To be effective, the marker needs to describe the cartel infringement precisely. The type and duration of the infringement as well as the product and geographic markets that are affected have to be indicated and the other cartel members have to be identified. Many mistakes can happen here. It is important that employees know what to do when they are in first contact with the FCO – at least until external counsel can give advice. Moreover, it is absolutely necessary to assess whether enough information and evidence has been gathered to apply for leniency and whether the company is able to provide this information to the FCO in a timely manner. As part of the information-gathering process, leniency applicants may encounter data protection issues that could encumber the preparation of the application. When engaging (former) employees (ie, the key knowledge bearers) to partake in the process or incentivising them to do so, certain labour and corporate law provisions have to be considered as well, particularly when indemnifying individuals who may have been involved in the alleged misconduct. Leniency applicants are well advised to resolve such issues with their external and internal counsel as soon as possible since the FCO expects leniency applicants to cooperate fully and on a continuous basis during the proceedings.
Notably, the official leniency programme of the FCO applies only to horizontal cartel offences between competitors. However, the FCO can, as part of its legal discretion, reduce fines for cooperative companies also in cases of vertical cartel law infringements across different levels of the value or distribution chain. This can even eliminate the fine. A recent example of a fine being eliminated can be found in the already mentioned ‘vertical case’, where the FCO did not impose fines for some companies that cooperated during the procedure. The FCO underlined that it has discretion regarding the scope of its investigations and that cooperation in vertical cases is possible and could mitigate the fine or even lead to immunity. Hence, at least factually some sort of leniency programme also exists in vertical cases – although it comes with substantially more uncertainties than the actual leniency programme in horizontal cases. In particular, companies willing to cooperate could not be certain which benefits they would get from such cooperation or, for that matter, if there would be any benefits at all.
Unrelated to the FCO’s enforcement practice, however, the ever increasing risk of follow-on damages litigation is a factor that has to be considered by clients and counsel before applying for leniency. It must always be borne in mind that the leniency programme only applies to fines. Therefore even a cartel participant who was granted immunity from fines is not exempt from follow-up civil law claims after the FCO’s decision is published. The risk of subsequent damages claims has now substantially increased, as the German legislature has transposed the EU directive on civil damages claims for cartel law infringements into national law. 2018 has certainly confirmed the trend towards more litigation as well as Germany’s status as a popular forum for claimants.
4 What means exist in your jurisdiction to speed up or streamline the authority’s decision-making, and what are your experiences in this regard?
The best (and virtually only) way to streamline the process is to stay responsive throughout the entire proceeding and, if deemed the best option, indicate a willingness to settle the case – which may often occur in addition to the leniency application. A leniency application will usually involve the handing in of the actual application, responding to follow-up questions by the FCO or attending examinations conducted by the authority and then engaging in settlement talks. The FCO is highly interested in settlement solutions as this may significantly reduce the case team’s workload and, from a practical point of view, also the risk of an appeal against the fining decision. As part of the settlement procedure, a cartel member will usually be asked to confirm the facts of the case as perceived by the FCO. If the alleged cartelist agrees, this will not only speed up the process, but will also result in the FCO reducing the fine by 10 per cent. Another advantage for clients confronted with cartel allegations is the fact that the FCO will only draft a decision with basic reasons (ie, the bare minimum of what is required for a fining decision). This can be helpful because an extensive decision with numerous details of the case is an effective tool to be used against cartel participants in subsequent damages litigation. Yet, as already mentioned, these claims are also the reason why cartel participants should be careful when they agree to the facts as presented by the FCO. Based on the new civil damages law, the FCO’s decision proves both the existence and the scope of a cartel law infringement so the facts of the case can no longer be challenged in court.
Therefore whether a settlement is actually an option or whether the client is not better off defending against the authority’s allegations must be well analysed beforehand. Also, an early indication of willingness to settle will not necessarily speed up the process. The ‘big picture’ investigation process is influenced by a number of FCO-internal as well as external factors, in particular developments in investigations against other alleged cartelists. The FCO usually has a keen interest in concluding (via settlement) the whole ‘case cluster’ pertaining to an investigation. So if other companies do not cooperate or do not cooperate as eagerly or if the FCO’s investigation results in the discovery of related infringements by other companies (also on upstream or downstream market levels), the overall progress of the case may slow down – irrespective of an individual company’s willingness to settle.
5 Tell us about the authority’s most important decisions over the year. What made them so significant?
One noteworthy case concerned harbour towage service providers, which had entered into a more than decade-long agreement allocating customer orders; the set quotas were based on turnover that the four companies involved used to allocate orders between them. The quotas were set in 2000–2001 after Dutch harbour towage companies had started operating on the Elbe and Weser rivers. As Dutch companies were also involved in the cartel, the FCO cooperated closely with the ACM, the Netherlands’ antitrust watchdog. Another notable feature of the case besides this international cooperation is the fact that the fines imposed were lowered in view of, among other things, the powerful position of the cartelists’ customers (ie, the large and globally active liner shipping companies). This is somewhat striking considering that German courts have recently rejected the notion that a ‘self-defence rationale’ of a cartel can work in favour of the cartelists.
Another complex case related to sanitary wholesalers that were fined for horizontal price coordination; the last of the involved companies was fined in March 2018. For one thing, the case shows that the FCO will also impose fines for concerted practices relating to mere gross prices – irrespective of subsequent intense competition via rebates. This matches the stance taken by the European Commission in its proceedings against bathroom fittings suppliers. That said, the German case was even more interesting as the form of coordination sanctioned here had been ongoing under the auspices of the FCO since the 1970s and had not been questioned by the cartel authorities at that time. The FCO concluded, however, that as a result of the legal exception rule introduced in 2005 – effectively meaning that the FCO will not give companies a green light or red light for their market practices in advance – the companies could not rely on previous legal assessments anymore. Rather, it was their obligation to reassess the situation and adjust their behaviour in the light of new technical developments. The fines imposed in this case totalled €23 million; proceedings against nine companies and one individual were concluded based on a settlement, with a tenth company currently fighting the FCO’s decision in court.
The biggest case in terms of fines was about six steel producers, a trade association and 10 individuals, resulting in fines of €205 million. The overall proceeding is not yet concluded as the FCO is continuing its investigation against other companies as well as another trade association that did not settle. The fined companies had coordinated on several price components for the sale of special steel, coordinating the calculation and implementation of uniform scrap and alloy surcharges across the sector and extensively exchanging competitively sensitive information. The FCO found that this had resulted in significantly restricted price competition. Notwithstanding the amount of the total fine, the case also stands out as it once again highlights the importance of competition law compliance in trade associations. According to the FCO, the trade associations played a decisive role in the agreements. The companies were able to use the various association meetings as a platform for implementing the agreements. The association also played an active part by processing and providing the companies with data for coordinating the scrap and alloy surcharges. As a direct result of the proceedings, the trade association fined also reorganised its structure and activities, seeking to reduce the risk of an exchange of information within the association’s framework. Along the way, it closely cooperated with the FCO and discussed the planned measures in detail with the authority.
Following the ‘vertical case’ in the grocery retail sector, the FCO continues to be in hot pursuit of vertical infringements, in particular resale price maintenance. The most recent example concerns bicycle wholesaler ZEG, a purchasing cooperative that fixed resale prices with 47 bicycle retailers. The proceeding was triggered by a tip-off from the trade. The independent retailers were asked not to undercut the minimum sales prices set by ZEG for different bicycle models, and the FCO found that this created a situation similar to a sales cartel among the participating retailers. Accordingly, it imposed a high fine of €13.4 million on ZEG – despite its cooperation and ZEG entering into a settlement – and only refrained from imposing fines on the retailers for discretionary reasons. They were ascribed a ‘secondary role in the matter’. Such proceedings underline the FCO’s ongoing and particularly critical stance on resale price maintenance. The authority continues to show no reluctance when it comes to imposing high fines, including in vertical cases. Companies, in particular those active in e-commerce, should bear that in mind.
6 What is the level of judicial review in your jurisdiction? Were there any notable challenges to the authority’s decisions in the courts over the past year?
As a principle, the FCO acts independently and conducts its investigations without consulting with other official bodies. It has the authority to both investigate infringements and issue decisions (‘prosecutor and judge’). However, for certain measures such as dawn raids the FCO needs to obtain court approval. Decisions of the FCO can be appealed before the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf, which can decrease or increase a fine. On points of law, a further appeal to the Federal Supreme Court is possible. The past year has seen some court action in relation to the review of FCO decisions.
A retailer involved in the ‘vertical case’ recently suffered a severe setback in court when it challenged its €5.25 million fine imposed for vertical price fixing in the sale of roasted coffee. Following judicial review, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf found the company guilty of having intentionally engaged in illegal vertical price-fixing and increased the fine to €30 million, in other words, a factor just shy of six. When setting the fine, the court argued that the case concerned a vertical infringement of competition law with nationwide horizontal effects in the sale of a major consumer product. The horizontal issue in that case was the fact that a premise for the retailer agreeing to vertical price fixing was that it would also gain information on the pricing behaviour of competing retailers.
This result is essentially in line with an earlier ruling of January 2017, where the same court increased the fines imposed by the FCO on several leading companies in the confectionery industry, from around €14 million to around €21 million in total. The fines were imposed for impermissible information sharing. The ruling also emphasised the point that German competition law is much more influenced by the notion that companies should interact and contract independently (‘free competition’), whereas the pursuit of consumer welfare is more of a by-product of this goal. The court expressly pointed out that the companies’ practices were not targeted at harming consumers but served to contravene the high degree of purchasing power by German retail chains. At the same time, the court made it clear that this ‘self-defence rationale’ could not justify the infringement of the law.
These cases also show that there is usually good reason to analyse the prospect of success of an appeal in detail. Withdrawals of appeals (or companies refraining from appeal proceedings altogether) continue to happen, usually precisely because of the manifest risk of the courts increasing the fines imposed by the FCO. A significant factor feeding into that risk is the fact that the courts are not bound by the FCO’s fining guidelines, in particular ‘rebates’ granted for cooperation with the authority, and, as a rule of thumb, they may therefore be more likely to apply fines on the upper end of the statutory maximum (ie, 10 per cent of a cartelist’s global turnover in the last completed financial year preceding the fining decision). That said, in a recent landmark decision, brewery company Carlsberg was able to completely overturn a fine of €62 million; the ‘beer cartel’ was one of the key case complexes feeding into the record amount of fines of 2014. Carlsberg was able to successfully point to the statutory limitation period, meaning that fines against Carlsberg were legally preempted. It remains to be seen if this outcome will result in more companies pursuing appeal proceedings (and without withdrawing their appeals later on).
7 How is private cartel enforcement developing in your jurisdiction?
The number of follow-on damages claims has continuously increased over the past years. The legal environment in Germany has been quite claimant-friendly, even before the implementation of the EU directive on cartel damages. These claims regularly follow investigations by the FCO, but also by the European Commission’s cartel decisions. As a recent example, the Commission’s decision imposing fines on Europe’s leading producers of trucks in 2016 led to a vast amount of damage claims of clients of these companies, particularly in Germany. Following the implementation of the EU directive on cartel damages, the legal position of claimants has further improved, resulting in an increasing number of follow-on damage claims in Germany. The amended law now provides for a rebuttable presumption that a cartel also caused damage. Furthermore, the amendment modified the rules on how to deal with the possible passing-on of cartel overcharges to downstream customers. There is now a legal presumption in favour of indirect customers of the cartel that the overcharge was in fact passed on. The reform also modified the joint and several liability of corporations. In addition, the law includes a new obligation for the parties to disclose certain evidence, which can substantially improve a claimant’s position. In that regard, the new rules have drawn a lot of criticism as well. Some commentators see the risk of ‘fishing expedition’-style evidence gathering or at least of some sort of pretrial discovery being established ‘through the back door’ – a process very foreign to the German litigation system. It remains to be seen whether the new legal provisions also influence the ‘half-life period’ of litigation cases in court. In the past, a number of litigation cases were settled in or out of court. Under the amended legal framework, however, claimants may feel more comfortable to follow through with their statements of claims or at least to keep them in court longer than before. In any event, 2018 has yet again confirmed that Germany is and continues to be a very popular forum for private enforcement.
8 What developments do you see in antitrust compliance?
The high visibility of cartel cases in the media in recent years as well as the considerable fines imposed in ‘easy to understand’ sectors, such as grocery retail and related products like beer or coffee, have led to a high level of awareness for compliance with cartel law. As a result, many companies, including medium-sized firms, have realised that they have to deal with antitrust compliance proactively. Maintaining a compliance system as well as conducting audits or compliance training sessions on a regular basis continues to be important for companies seeking to avoid infringements and to detect them at an early stage.
Generally, a good compliance system should be tailored to the needs of the individual company and its employees. Guidelines should be clear – in other words, they should contain dos and don’ts, and show plenty of illustrative examples. In our experience, the difficulties clients face when trying to achieve this are largely the same across industries and company sizes: developing a workable reporting system that is able to detect potential misconduct at an early enough stage – also in view of the uncertainty or shame that whistle-blowers may feel – and address and explain sufficiently the complexities of competition law to employees who do not have a legal background. Therefore, it is helpful to consider any practical experience of employees who have faced antitrust issues in the past and encourage all people in the company to ask for discrete and specific advice in potentially critical situations, for example, by approaching internal compliance officers, the legal department or external counsel. It is of utmost importance that a compliance-focused atmosphere and business policy is created and promoted from the top down.
The FCO generally welcomes compliance programmes. Unfortunately, it still does not provide any comprehensive guidance to companies on how to implement an effective compliance structure; in its brochure on ‘Effective cartel prosecution’, it merely refers to the (indirect) benefits of compliance systems, namely, the possibility to use such systems to uncover wrongdoing and prepare a leniency application or to cooperate with the FCO more generally. Even more unfortunate is the fact that the FCO’s substantive position on the effect of compliance measures on cartel proceedings and fines has remained unchanged for years now. During the fine-setting procedure, the authority only takes compliance programmes into account if the programme is implemented after the cartel law infringement in question was discovered. In contrast, a pre-existing compliance programme is not considered an actual mitigating factor. On that point Germany continues to take a different route to some other countries, such as the UK.
One last notable point that increases the overall importance of compliance programmes relates to a new law that entered into force in July 2017 and that further adds to the responsibilities of the FCO. The Act on the Establishment of a Competition Register for Public Procurement at the Bundeskartellamt seeks to keep companies that commit serious economic offences, including cartel infringements, from benefiting from public contracts and concessions. To that end, a Competition Register maintained by the FCO shall be established. This Register will enable contracting authorities to check in a single nationwide electronic search whether a company has committed relevant violations of the law; this company can then be excluded from tender processes. The law provides for the Register to be operational by 2020 and the FCO is in the process of setting this up.
9 What changes do you anticipate to cartel enforcement policy or antitrust rules in the coming year? What effect will this have on clients?
Amendments introduced to German competition law in mid-2017 concern not only cartel damages but also cartel enforcement more generally. For instance, the reformed law exempts certain agreements between newspapers or magazine publishers from cartel law restrictions and it amends the merger control regime as well as provisions concerning market definition so as to better address the particularities of digital companies and related M&A activities. Most importantly – notwithstanding the already mentioned damages topic – the new law has closed the perceived loophole in the enforcement of fines, which we mentioned before. Under German law a company could, until recently and under certain circumstances, use internal restructuring measures to escape a fine. For example, in 2016, the FCO closed a case without being able to actually collect the €128 million of fines it had previously imposed on two companies; the FCO reported that it ‘lost’ another €110 million in 2017, when three more cartelists made use of this loophole. The new law has effectively eliminated the ability to dodge fines in that manner, by transposing the ‘single economic entity principle’ developed in European competition law into German competition law. With the reformed law, parent companies can now be held liable for the cartel offences of their subsidiaries. Additionally, the universal legal successor and even a mere economic successor of a corporation can be held liable for cartel offences of their predecessors. The liability of an economic successor has the consequence that from now on the risk of liability for the cartel offences also exists in mere asset deals. This, combined with the liability of universal legal successors, will close the perceived loophole in the future but will also create considerable risks and uncertainties for ‘neutral’ M&A deals entirely unrelated to any attempt to escape a fine.
Beyond these developments, it is widely expected that a new amendment to German competition law could enter into force in the not-too-distant future. There is widespread belief that the legislator still needs to do more to properly capture the latest developments in the digital economy. In mid-2018, the FCO also launched a joint project with the French competition authority, seeking to explore the possible impacts of algorithms on competition. That said, details of any further legal amendments remain unclear at this stage. It will be interesting to see how discussions among scholars and practitioners in Germany and abroad will influence the process.
The Inside Track
What was the most interesting case you worked on recently?
One case that still stands out is the European Commission’s cartel proceedings against truck manufacturers and the follow-on litigation that ensued in many EU member states and even outside the EU. The Commission imposed a record fine on truck manufactures in the amount of €2.93 billion. While we have secured full immunity for our client, we must now handle the follow-on damage claims in Germany and abroad.
If you could change one thing about the area of cartel enforcement in your jurisdiction, what would it be?
A further enhanced alignment between national competition authorities remains high up on the ‘wish list’. It can cause certain issues if interventions in uncharted territory are carried out not by the European Commission but by a national competition authority. While there are cases where, for example, the FCO seems to be best placed to examine a new issue (in particular because of past experience) it can cause friction in practice if other European authorities arrive at different conclusions later on. Also, more concrete guidance for companies willing to cooperate in vertical cases would be something both the FCO and the market participants would benefit from.
Thorsten Mäger firstname.lastname@example.org
Florian von Schreitter email@example.com
Hengeler Mueller Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB - Düsseldorf - www.hengeler.com