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Christian Ahlborn

Competition Partner, London

"For more than 20 years I have been advising multinational corporates, banks and other institutions on all aspects of global competition law. I combine an in-depth understanding of the subject with a pragmatic approach, offering clients well-considered and creative solutions to legal challenges".

Overview

Professional experience

Education and qualifications

Overview

Christian is widely recognised as a market-leading competition lawyer. He is qualified in England & Wales and in Germany and is also a trained economist. He belongs to a small group of antitrust practitioners who can bring both a legal and economic perspective to a case. 

Christian advises major corporates, banks and institutions on all areas of global competition law. He has a broad range of experience in EU competition law, particularly in relation to complex M&A, behavioural antitrust work, control of dominance issues and state aid control. He is well-known for extensive work on high-profile matters. 

Christian’s experience spans many industry sectors, with particular experience in financial services, IT, fast-moving consumer goods and mining.  

During his career Christian has been seconded to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition and to the Bundeskartellamt. He also spent three years in Linklaters’ Brussels office and is well known on the Brussels market.  

Work highlights

Christian has led or co-led on some of the most challenging global merger control, behavioural antitrust and State aid matters, including advising: 

  • E.ON in relation to a far-reaching asset exchange with RWE, involving distribution grid and customer solutions as well as renewables activities and an acquisition by RWE of a non-controlling minority stake in E.ON.
  • Deutsche Börse AG in relation to the proposed €21bn merger with the London Stock Exchange Group plc
  • Glencore in relation to the global merger control aspects of its US$70bn acquisition of control of Xstrata and on the US$7bn sale of its project and associated facilities in Cotabambas and Grau Provinces in Peru (“Las Bambas”) to a consortium of Chinese buyers led by MMG Ltd
  • Unilever in relation to the successful defence of an investigation by the UK’s CMA into an alleged abuse of dominance in the FMCG sector (the case was closed without fines or a finding of infringement)
  • an international bank in relation to the European Commission’s Libor/Yen investigation
  • Microsoft in relation to several investigations of alleged abuse of dominance, including in the UK, Germany, Norway and Turkey
  • Lloyds Banking Group on the State aid investigation regarding the UK government’s £17bn capital injection, and issues relating to an asset protection scheme and capital raising, as well as the implementation of the EU state aid remedies
  • the UK Home Office on State aid issues in respect of the Forensic Science Service
  • the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport on the European Commission's State aid investigation into the UK government's proposal to privatise the Horserace Totalisator Board (the Tote) by selling it to Betfred

Professional experience

Christian is a regular speaker at international conferences and seminars and publishes frequently. His most recent articles include:  

  • ‘The Post Danmark II case - The ECJ’s decision leaves major questions unanswered’, Competition Law Insight, 8 December 2015
  • ‘The Intel judgment and consumer welfare - a response to Wouter Wils’, Competition Law & Policy Debate, Vol. 1, Issue 1, February 2015
  • ‘Not enough girls in the club: The European antitrust approach towards multisided markets’, CPI Antitrust Chronicle, June 2013

Education and qualifications

Christian studied law and economics as an undergraduate at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and the Université Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne). He holds a masters of law and a masters of economics from the London School of Economics.
 
He speaks English, French and German.