Competition Law

D’Empaire is the leading law firm in Venezuela in competition and antitrust law. Members of D’Empaire worked with the Venezuelan antitrust authority (Procompetencia) before joining the firm, and participated in the special commission that drafted the original Venezuelan Competition Law of 1992. D’Empaire has been considered the best Venezuelan law firm in competition/antitrust by Chambers Latin America.

Merger Control. An important part of D’Empaire’s antitrust practice involves counseling for clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions. We provide leading-edge experience under the Venezuelan merger control regime, and have advised a range of multinational and national clients on the Venezuelan competition aspects of many transactions. We have also represented our clients in court litigation arising from merger proceedings. Examples of our merger control experience include the following:

BTG Pactual in the acquisition of Brasil Telecom Venezuela

Global Crossing in the regulatory approvals of its acquisition by Level 3

Merck in connection with the acquisition of Schering-Plough

Global Crossing in connection with the acquisition of Impsat

Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) in the sale of its shares in Digitel to Telvenco

Procter & Gamble in its acquisition of Gillette

Pfizer in its merger with Pharmacia

BASF in the formation of a joint venture company for the animal nutrition business with Calier Internacional

Brystol-Myers Squibb in the sale of its Clairol business to Procter & Gamble

The Coca-Cola Company in the formation of a joint venture company with The Cisneros Group

Cartel/behavioral investigations and litigation. D’Empaire advises clients on cartel investigations, investigations and complaints concerning abuse of market power and competition issues relating to intellectual property rights and unfair competition. We have defended clients under investigation by competition regulators and represented clients before Venezuelan courts in appeals against decisions by Procompetencia. We have represented:

Kaplan in connection with a claim brought by EF

Visa International in an investigation on the merchant discount rates in Venezuela

Schering-Plough in an unfair competition case

Sanofi-Aventis in a case brought by a local company with respect to Plavix

Wyeth in an abuse of dominant position case initiated by a local company

United Airlines in an investigation brought by the Venezuelan travel agencies’ association against the major carriers operating in Venezuela

Masisa (a leading Chilean pinewood boards manufacturer) in an abuse of dominant position case brought by a Venezuelan distributor

RCTV (the leading Venezuelan TV network) in an alleged cartel case related to the TV advertisement business

Digitel (a subsidiary of TIM) in a case for alleged false advertising against Telcel (Movistar)

Pfizer in an unfair competition case related to Lipitor and Celebrex

Aventis-Pharma in an unfair competition case related to Allegra and Taxotere

Cemex in an investigation of the cement industry in Venezuela

Procter & Gamble in a claim filed by Kraft Foods with the Venezuelan competition authority in connection with the powder drink NutriStar®

Heinz in connection with a proceeding for unfair competition practices against other manufactures

Proquim in connection with a proceeding for abuse of dominant position against American Natural Soda Ash Association (ANSAC)