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Antitrust & Foreign Investment

Our truly integrated global antitrust and foreign investment group provides market-leading legal expertise across the spectrum of antitrust and foreign investment matters, wherever our clients do business

Antitrust & Foreign Investment

Linklaters’ antitrust & foreign investment team is one of the world’s leading antitrust law practices.

Our international team help clients successfully navigate fast-evolving competition and foreign investment laws across the globe. Regulators’ and enforcement agencies’ investigations often cross borders and practice areas. So do we. 

Our multi-disciplinary team of over 250 lawyers across the major global antitrust centres of the EU, UK, US and China bring together a mix of technical expertise and practical experience of dealing with the most high-profile and sensitive antitrust investigations around the world. 

Our approach is to combine a deep understanding of clients’ businesses and strategies with our insights at the cutting edge of the regulatory landscape – and to rely on our credibility with agency decision-makers. The result is a clear track record of successful outcomes in complex global, EU and domestic transactional and behavioural matters.

What we do

Foreign Investment & Merger Control

At Linklaters, we have world-leading experience thanks to our dedicated and truly integrated global network. We are continually monitoring developments in this rapidly evolving area in order to remain ahead of the curve. We offer clients a one stop shop for handling merger control and foreign investment review filings: a single, central point of contact, as well as a consistently high level of quality.


Merger control is critical to the success of any M&A transaction. Linklaters’ truly global team works with clients to devise their global merger control strategy. We combine commercial, legal, economic and often political considerations to maximise the chance of a successful outcome. We offer clients a one stop shop for handling merger control and foreign investment review filings: a single, central point of contact, as well as a consistently high level of quality.


Antitrust Investigations and Litigation

With our global footprint and on-the-ground experience in multiple jurisdictions our Antitrust & Foreign Investment team support clients through the broad spectrum of challenges that arise before, during and after an investigation into behavioural conduct issues.


Public procurement

Linklaters has extensive experience of advising on the application of the EU procurement Directives and the implementing regulations adopted in various Member States. We have been involved in many important projects for both private and public sector clients (including national governments), which have required a combination of detailed technical legal expertise, innovative thinking and commercial focus.


State Aid & Foreign Subsidies Regulation

In this evolving legal environment, companies with no previous (and often no foreseen) exposure to State aid issues are increasingly affected by the rules. Companies increasingly view State aid law as a powerful tool to challenge the legality of fiscal regimes and other State measures which favour their competitors. Our clients gain a competitive advantage from our wealth of experience in handling complex State aid cases.


The FSR builds on elements of State aid, merger control, foreign investment, public procurement, and trade defence. Our global team is one of the world’s leading practices across the spectrum of these matters and we have the skills, experience and bandwidth required to prepare your business. We advise on the most complex and strategic matters and have an award-winning reputation for innovation and excellence.


Economic & Utility Regulation

The team has advised on price controls, market access and liberalisation for utilities companies, as well as on the regulatory issues arising in the context of mergers and acquisitions and financing/restructuring transactions.


Digital Platform Regulation

Linklaters is at the forefront of advising on the emerging regulatory landscape for digital platforms including the EU Digital Markets Act and the UK’s Strategic Market Status Regime. We advise both regulated platforms and other stakeholders on opportunities and challenges arising from the evolving global regulatory environment. 


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Client Successes


Advising on the UK merger control aspects of its $7.3bn acquisition of Inmarsat., where unconditional clearance was successfully obtained subject to an in-depth Phase II review in the UK and EU and subject to a DOJ Second Request. The transaction is a rare example of an unconditional Phase 2 clearance from the CMA in a case that involved a nascent and dynamic market.

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Advising the administrators of Bulb Energy Limited (“Bulb”) on the subsidy, merger control and antitrust aspects of the administration and related funding provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in November 2021, and further sale of Bulb to Octopus (October 2022). We also advised on the judicial review challenge to the UK government’s decision to approve the transfer to Octopus and related funding package which was dismissed.

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We advised McKesson on the EUR 1.5 billion sale to Phoenix of part of McKesson’s business in Europe. The transaction includes McKesson's subsidiaries in Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia as well as its German-based AG headquarters in Stuttgart, its German wound-care business, its shared services center in Lithuania, and its 45% ownership stake in Brocacef, the company’s joint venture in the Netherlands.

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We advised TRUE on the mega-merger between Total Access Communication Plc (DTAC) and True Corporation Plc (TRUE).

This US$8.6 billion transaction will merge the second and third largest mobile operators in Thailand, creating the largest mobile operator with more than half of total mobile subscribers.

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Advising on the successful appeal against CMA’s finding of infringement and imposition of a £17.9m fine for a wide most favoured nation clause. It is a rare case (in the tech sector which continues to come under significant antitrust scrutiny) where the CMA investigated the use of wide most-favoured nation clauses, a widely debated topic in recent years. On appeal the Competition Appeal Tribunal overturned the CMA’s infringement decision in its entirety.

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TDR Capital and LeasePlan:

We advised TDR Capital and LeasePlan, one of the world's leading vehicle leasing and fleet management companies, on its combination with ALD Automotive, Société Générale's car leasing division securing EU conditional clearance in Phase I.

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Advising GrandVision in EssilorLuxottica’s US$8.7bn takeover, creating a leading global eyecare and eyewear company. Through this acquisition EssilorLuxottica expands its optical retail platform, primarily in Europe, by adding more than 7,200 stores globally, over 37,000 employees and €3.7bn in annual revenue. This is the biggest retail merger ever reviewed by the European Commission and one of the longest Phase II processes ever.

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Silgan Holdings Inc:

We represented Silgan Holdings Inc. in a longstanding case before the European Commission and in parallel proceedings before several European courts based on allegations in relation to the exchange of information for metal closures and with regard to BPA free coating in metal closures and food cans.

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Advising Porsche in the Car Emissions case before the European Commission on cartel allegations against the five German car manufacturers Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche (the so-called “Circle of 5”). The intense and complex investigations lasted for several years and were closed by way of settlement. This is the first case in the history of the European Commission in which fines were imposed for an alleged limitation of technological developments only (i.e. with no coordination on prices, customers or geographic areas).

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We advised Intel on the Asian merger filings (China, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea) of its USD 9 billion sale of NAND and SSD businesses to SK Hynix, including a conditional clearance in China.

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Peugeot Group:

Advising on its merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in 2020. The new entity, Stellantis, has become the world’s fourth largest car manufacturer in terms of volume and the third largest in turnover. The merger was notified in 22 jurisdictions and triggered a Phase 2 in 5 jurisdictions including the EU.

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The Dutch State:

We represented the Dutch State in relation to Ryanair’s appeal to the General Court of the EU of the European Commission’s decision of July 2020, approving individual State aid to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (“KLM”) in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

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