Assimakis Komninos

Partner, Brussels

Biography

“Very experienced, with deep analytical skills and an excellent market understanding.”
Chambers Global 2019

Overview

Assimakis Komninos's practice focuses on complex cases of abuse of dominance, restrictive agreements and Phase I and Phase II merger control reviews. He represents clients before the European Courts, the European Commission, national competition authorities, national courts and international arbitration tribunals. He has argued both of the only two competition preliminary reference cases to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) from Greece.

Clients look to Assimakis for his proven track record and his ability to combine quietly resolving the most sensitive and complex investigations with aggressively litigating to achieve the necessary results. Chambers Global 2021 notes that he is "brilliant", giving "concrete advice and never hides behind legal words", while Legal 500 2020 lauds him for "his professionalism, proactive mentality and good communication ethos."

Assimakis has represented clients with excellent results in proceedings before the Albanian, Croatian, Cypriot, French, Greek, Kosovo, Lithuanian, Romanian, Russian and Slovenian competition authorities and Belgian, Bulgarian, Cypriot, French, Greek, Latvian, Spanish and Russian courts. He has particular experience in arbitration cases involving competition issues, and in private antitrust litigation cases in national courts.

Assimakis is a former Commissioner and Member of the Board of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC).

Assimakis is currently a visiting fellow of the Centre for Law and Governance in Europe at University College London (UCL), a visiting professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain (2020-2022) and a member of the Executive Committee of the Global Competition Law Centre (GCLC) at the College of Europe. He is a prolific writer on legal matters and often gives speeches and seminars on EU law, and is a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network (ICN).

Bars and Courts
Brussels Bar (E list)
Athens Bar (Greek Supreme Court)
Education
PhD
European University Institute
Italy
LLM
New York University School of Law
USA
LLM
Trinity College
University of Cambridge, UK
LLB
University of Athens
Greece
Languages
English
French
German
Greek
Italian

Experience

Google – Android – EU
Representing Google in its appeal before the General Court against the European Commission's Android decision (abuse of dominance – exclusivity rebates).

CCIA – Google Shopping – EU
Representing the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), the sole intervener in support of Google in its appeal against the European Commission's Shopping decision (abuse of dominance – self-preferencing).

Amazon – BuyBox – EU
Representing Amazon in its challenge of the European Commission's carve-out of Italy in the decision opening proceedings in the BuyBox matter (Article 11(6) Reg. 1/2003).

Microsoft – Interoperability information – EU
Part of the team that represented Microsoft in its appeal against the European Commission's 2004 decision (abuse of dominance - compulsory licensing of interoperability information).

GlaxoSmithKline – parallel trade cases – EU
Represented GSK before the ECJ and the Court of First Instance (General Court) in: Syfait v. GlaxoSmithKline and Lélos v. GlaxoSmithKline (parallel trade of pharmaceuticals - abuse of dominance), in GlaxoSmithKline Services v. Commission (parallel trade of pharmaceuticals - Article 101) and EAEPC v. Commission (rejection of a complaint - parallel trade of pharmaceuticals - Article 101).

Hellenic Republic – Greek lignites – EU
Represented the Hellenic Republic intervening in support of Public Power Corporation (PPC) against the Commission's Greek lignites Decision.

Chalkor – copper plumbing tubes – EU
Advised Chalkor in its challenge of a cartel fine. The Court of First Instance partially annulled the Commission's decision and reduced the fine. The case later led to the landmark Chalkor/KME rulings before the ECJ, which are the leading cases for competition law and due process.

Merger clearance in Aegean/Olympic II – EU
In a first for EU merger control, Assimakis achieved a significant success for Aegean Airlines before the European Commission, which cleared the Greek carrier's proposed acquisition of its rival Olympic Air. This was the second time the two companies had tried to merge, following Olympic/Aegean I, when the Commission prohibited the transaction.

Major pharmaceutical company – excessive pricing – UK
Advised a major pharmaceutical company in an excessive pricing case before the CMA and UK courts.

Cosmote - Greece
Successfully represented Cosmote in an abuse of dominance (margin squeeze) proceeding before the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT).

Mytilineos - Greece
Representing Mytilineos in an abuse of dominance complaint (excessive pricing / refusal to supply) before the HCC.

Mobile telephony – EU Phase II merger
Assimakis represented an international company active in mobile telephony in an EU merger Phase II filing.

Gas – EU Phase II merger
Assimakis advised a major energy company on questions of EU unbundling legislation and on EU merger rules in a Phase II case.

Abuse of dominance proceedings - Europe
Assimakis represented a major international company active in the coffee market in abuse of dominance proceedings, as well as in litigation in national courts and competition authorities.

Successful appeal against an EU State aid decision
Assimakis successfully represented a number of Greek casinos before the EU General Court, in an appeal against a European Commission State aid decision.

Investigations in the soft drinks and milk markets – Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, Slovenia
Represented a major company active in the soft drinks and milk markets before the Bulgarian, Croatian, Cypriot, Greek, Romanian and Slovenian authorities and courts.

Eurozone crisis
Assimakis has advised sovereign and corporate clients on the Eurozone crisis and on Euro-exit risks.

EU competition law and arbitration
Assimakis has worked in a number of major ICC arbitration cases involving EU competition law, notably in paramedical products, liquefied natural gas and digital TV services.

Information exchange case - Greece
Assimakis successfully represented an industry association in an information exchange investigation before the HCC, which was closed with a commitments decision.

Cartel proceeding - Albania
Assimakis successfully represented a company active in the cement industry before the Albanian competition authority. Full acquittal was attained.

EU competition compliance
Assimakis has conducted a number of EU competition compliance audits for major companies in the construction materials, cosmetics and food and drinks markets.

Excessive and unfair pricing practices by airports – UK, Cyprus
Assimakis has advised companies active in car rental services in cases involving airports' excessive pricing practices. He successfully represented a major car rental operator in a complaint against an airport before the Cypriot Competition Commission.

Advising on EU gambling rules – complaints to the European Commission
Assimakis has represented companies in complaints before the European Commission against EU Member States on State aid or freedom of establishment grounds.

Speaking Engagements

Click here for a full list of speaking engagements.

Chairman of the Session on "Interplay between Regulation and EU Competition Law" for the Third Topic, "Competition Law and the Digital Economy", FIDE Congress, The Hague, 3 November 2021

Moderator of the enforcers' panel, 2021 LEAR Competition Festival, Rome, 10 June 2021

"The Implications of the Slovak Telekom Judgment for the Duty to Deal with Rivals under Article 102 TFEU, with a Particular Focus on Digital Platforms", Webinar organized by the Europa Institute of Leiden University in the framework of the Leiden Law Exchanges (LLX) series of roundtables, Leiden, 19 May 2021

"Failing Firm Defence in Times of COVID-19 Economic Crisis", Webinar organized by the Florence Competition Programme, Florence, 25 March 2021

Moderator of the enforcers' panel, Digital Workshop on "The Intersection between Competition and Regulation: Prospects for Reform", co-organized by the Hellenic Competition Commission and the Economics and Policy Academy, 4 February 2021

"Institutional Design and Procedural Rules", online conference on "The Digital Markets Act: EU Competition Policy at a Crossroads", organized by the Florence Competition Programme of the European University Institute, Florence, 16 November 2020

Speaker at the online conference on "Competition Law and Sustainable Development: Overcoming the Dilemma?", co-organized by the Italian Competition Authority, Luiss School of Law, King's College London, University College London, Associazione Italiana Giuristi Europei (AIGE), and Associazione fra le società italiane per azioni (ASSONIME), Rome, 13 November 2020

"Competition Law as a Tool to Regulate the EU Digital Economy?", Conference on Democracy and Human Rights in the Digital Age, organized by the College of Europe, Bruges, 19-20 February 2020

Moderator of the Session on "Regulation or Competition in the Digital Space: What's Best for Consumers?", Conference on "Dynamic Competition in Dynamic Markets: A Path Forward", organized by Competition Policy International (CPI), Brussels, 24 October 2019

"Sustainability and Competition Policy: Bridging two Worlds to Enable a Fairer Economy", Conference organized by the European Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Fair Trade Advocacy Office, the Global Competition Law Centre and University College London, Brussels, 24 October 2019

Moderator of the Session on "Remedies in Unilateral Conduct Cases", Unilateral Conduct Working Group, ICN Annual Conference, Cartagena, 14-17 May 2019

Moderator of the Session on "Cartel Settlements and Policy Enforcement across the EU", European Consumer and Competition Day Conference, Romanian Presidency of the European Union, Bucharest, 4 April 2019

"Recent Developments on Abuse of Dominance (Qualcomm, Google-Android, MEO, etc.)", Les mardis du droit européen de la concurrence, ULB European Studies Institute, Brussels, 13 November 2018

"Excessive Pricing", Plenary Session, 2018 ICN Unilateral Conduct Workshop, Stellenbosch (South Africa), 1-2 November 2018

"The Impact of the Intel Ruling on Rebates, Exclusive Dealing, and Tying", 23rd Annual EU Competition Law and Policy Workshop on "Competition Assessments – Abuse of Dominance", Florence, 22-23 June 2018

Publications

Click here for a full list of publications.

Ex post Evaluation of Competition Cases, Kluwer Law International, Alphen aan den Rijn, 2021 (Co-editor with Nicolas Petit)

"The Digital Markets Act and Private Enforcement: Proposals for an Optimal System of Enforcement", in: Liber Amicorum Eleanor M. Fox - Antitrust Ambassador to the World, Nicolas Charbit & Sébastien Gachot (Eds.), Concurrences, New York, pp. 425-444, 2021

"Legal, Institutional and Policy Implications of the Introduction of a New Competition Tool", Concurrences, 2021(1), art. N° 98145, pp. 1-13 (with Georgios Gryllos)

Remedies in EU Competition Law: Substance, Process and Policy, Kluwer Law International, Alphen aan den Rijn, 2020 (Co-editor with Damien Gerard)

Fairness in EU Competition Policy: Significance and Implications, An Inquiry into the Soul and Spirit of Competition Enforcement in Europe, Bruylant, Brussels, 2020 (Co-editor with Damien Gerard and Denis Waelbroeck)

"A Re-awakening of the Failing Firm Defense in the EU in the Aftermath of COVID-19?", Competition Policy International (CPI) Europe Column, April 2020 (with Jan Jeram and Iakovos Sarmas), also published at SSRN

"Damages Actions in Article 102 TFEU Cases: The New Frontier for Private Enforcement", in: EU Competition Litigation, Transposition and First Experiences of the New Regime, Magnus Strand, Vladimir Bastidas & Marios C. Iacovides (Eds.), Hart Publishing, Oxford/Portland, pp. 155-171, 2019

"Intel: the ECJ Finally Speaks - Time to Listen!", Competition Law & Policy Debate, 2018(2), pp. 42-50

"Arbitration and Damages Claims Based on Competition Law Infringements", Liber Amicorum Ian S. Forrester QC LLD, A Scot without Borders, Volume II, Sir David Edward, Jacquelyn MacLennan & Assimakis Komninos (Eds.), Concurrences Review, New York, pp. 201-217, 2015

"Efficiency Defences in Abuse of Dominance Cases: Introduction", Concurrences, 2014(2), art. n° 65382

"Arbitration and EU Competition Law", International Antitrust Litigation, Conflict of Laws and Coordination, Jürgen Basedow, Stéphanie Francq & Laurence Idot (Eds.), Hart Publishing, Oxford/Portland, pp. 191–222, 2011

"IP Rights in the EU Microsoft Saga", Competition Law and the Enforcement of Article 102, Federico Etro & Ioannis Kokkoris (Eds.), Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 83–98, 2010 (with Katarzyna Czapracka)

EC Private Antitrust Enforcement, Decentralised Application of EC Competition Law by National Courts, Hart Publishing, Oxford/Portland, 2008

EC Competition Law: A Critical Assessment, Hart Publishing, Oxford/Portland, 2007 (Associate Editor; General Editors Giuliano Amato & Claus-Dieter Ehlermann)

The Euro: Law, Politics, Economics, The British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London, 2003 (Co-editor with Jean-Victor Louis)

Awards and Recognition

Chambers Competition/European Law – Belgium

Chambers Foreign Expert for Greece

Best Lawyers 2021-2022, Belgium: Competition/Antitrust Law

Chambers Corporate/Commercial – Greece, 2015 and 2016

Recommended by Legal 500 – Competition: EU and Global 2020

GCR International Who's Who of Competition Lawyers

Who's Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Competition 2019

Who's Who Legal: Life Sciences

Winner of the Client Choice Award 2015 for the Competition & Antitrust category for European Union

Lawdragon Global Litigation 500, Lawdragon

Euromoney Expert Guides, Competition & Antitrust