Image of Erik Venot

Erik Venot

Antitrust & Foreign Investment Counsel, Brussels

For more than 15 years I have advised clients on all aspects of competition law with a particular focus on international merger control and cartels. I aim to make proceedings more predictable for clients and assist them in managing risk and designing solutions that best fit their commercial objectives.



German and French national, qualified in Germany, Erik advises clients on all areas of competition and foreign direct investment laws.

He has represented clients in numerous complex merger control proceedings before the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office and frequently coordinates proceedings worldwide on global deals.

He regularly assists clients in relation to cartel investigations and provides advice on vertical/horizontal agreements and other behavioural matters.

Erik also regularly represents clients before the General Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union in cartel-related litigation.

Work Highlights

Highlights of Erik’s merger control experience include advising:

  • Covestro in relation to its US$1.8 bn acquisition of the Resins & Functional Materials business from Royal DSM
  • Linde on its merger with Praxair (conditional Phase 2 clearance by the European Commission)
  • Johnson & Johnson on its US$ 21.3 bn acquisition of Synthes (conditional Phase 2 clearance by the European Commission)
  • Trelleborg on its US$ 1.3 bn acquisition of the tyre manufacturer CGS Holding
  • Saint-Gobain on its proposed acquisition of SIKA
  • Reliance Industries in relation to the sale of its  stake in the African fuel retailer GAPCO to Total SA.

Highlights of his work on behavioural competition investigations and related litigation include representing:

  • a manufacturer of metal packaging in the European Commission’s investigation into the metal packaging industry and in related litigation in the General Court.
  • a railway company in a successful appeal to the Court of Justice concerning the legality of a dawn raid decision of the European Commission
  • a manufacturer of flat glass in the European Commission’s cartel investigation into the flat glass industry
  • a manufacturer of car glass in the European Commission’s cartel investigation into the car glass industry and subsequent successful litigation in the General Court
Professional Experience 

Erik has repeatedly been ranked by Who’s Who Legal in the “Competition: Future Leaders” guides since 2018.

Education and qualifications

Erik studied law at the University of Saarland and the Centre Juridique Franco-Allemand (Saarbrücken) and holds a master’s in law from the College of Europe.

He works in English, German and French.

Erik is admitted in Germany and member of the Brussels Bar.

Published works

Erik regularly publishes updates on recent competition law developments. Examples include:

  • European Commission proposes to extend its toolkit to address structural market deficiencies; blog post at the occasion of the launch of the public consultation on the need for a potential new competition tool (June 2020).
  • A year to remember, the year in review for the European Union’s merger control regime, IFLR, February 2014, with Gerwin Van Gerven.