The BPV HÜGEL competition practice prides itself on the quality of its work – the firm takes on some of the toughest cases in the region. Astrid Ablasser-Neuhuber heads the practice; fellow partner Florian Neumayr is a highly respected litigator, and leads the firm’s dedicated antitrust litigation practice, one of the few such dedicated teams on the Austrian market. Bpv Hügel maintains close relationships with a blue-chip client base, including major Austrian companies such as Telekom Austria, voestalpine and Raiffeisen Ware Austria, alongside multinationals such as Axel Springer, Colgate-Palmolive and Mondelez.
The team has a hand in some of the biggest deals affecting the Austrian market. The team represented regular client Axel Springer as it set up a joint venture with the Funke Gruppe, obtaining a conditional clearance from Austria’s competition enforcer after a Phase I probe. Ablasser-Neuhuber and partner Heinrich Kühnert assisted Imerys on a pair of Austrian merger control proceedings, as the company acquired the global paper hydrous kaolin business of BASF, and separately bought the precipitated calcium carbonates division of Solvay. The firm has advised Swedish retailer IKEA in relation to several Austrian merger projects.
Ablasser-Neuhuber and partner Gerhard Fussenegger represented voestalpine in its appeal against a DG Comp fine for the company’s involvement in the pre-stressing steel cartel. The General Court ultimately slashed the fine from €22 million to €7.5 million. The same pair represented BP Europa during abuse of dominance proceedings in Austria’s Cartel Court, obtaining a dismissal of the allegations. The firm also acted for AFS Franchise-Systeme – the central purchasing arm of one of Austria’s largest DIY franchises – in resale price maintenance restrictions by Austria’s Federal Competition Authority (BWB) and Austria’s Cartel Court.
bpv Hügel is one of the leading law firms in Austria. Its competition law team, consisting of specialised lawyers in Vienna and Brussels, is one of the most experienced and largest in Austria. The practice group has built up a considerable track record in the following core areas:
- Joint ventures, cooperation agreements and vertical relationships such as distribution systems
- Advice with regard to all aspects of market dominance and abuse issues
- Representation of undertakings subject to antitrust proceedings before national as well as European authorities and courts
- Competition litigation and, in particular, defence in private enforcement cases
- Leniency applications
- Austrian and EU merger control as well as coordination of multi-jurisdictional filings
bpv Hügel not only offers high-quality services in competition law but also provides premium integrated M&A, corporate, regulatory (including public procurement and state aid), real estate, finance, labour and tax law advice to national and international clients.
bpv LEGAL is a close alliance of law firms spanning six countries focused on the Central and Eastern European region, combining in-depth local know-how with an international approach. bpv LEGAL can draw upon the close relationships that its partners have established over years of working together in the region in fields such as international transactions, foreign investment, and international competition law matters.
bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte OG
ARES-Tower, Donau-City-Strasse 11
T: +43 1 260 50 0
F: +43 1 260 50 133
Astrid Ablasser-Neuhuber, partner, head of competition law practice