Hans W Friederiszick
Office:
Schlossplatz 1
10178
City:
Berlin
Country:
Germany
Tel:
+49 30 21231 7010

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Competition

Hans W Friederiszick is a director and one of the founders of E.CA Economics. He represented the parties in the multibillion-euro Holcim/ Lafarge merger and in the eye-catching German EDEKA/Kaiser’s Tengelmann (which was resolved in a ministerial approval). He has also worked for Asics on selective distribution systems. In private litigation, his work on synthetic rubber cartel, air cargo, credit card cases (plaintiff side), smart card chips and FMCG (defendant side) has been widely recognised.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO A CAREER IN COMPETITION ECONOMICS? 

At first, it was the strategic interaction of firms that caught my interest. Practical training at DG Comp’s merger task force in 1998 showed me that this strand of economic research is taken seriously – fascinating!

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS REQUIRED FOR ECONOMISTS INVOLVED IN INTERNATIONAL ANTITRUST INVESTIGATIONS? 

Wise judgement on complex economic matters is core. Excellence at different levels of technicality is another important element. Being a convincing communicator – to external council as well as internally – allows you to steer an international antitrust investigation towards success.   

IN YOUR OPINION, ARE INFORMATION EXCHANGE CASES SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT TO PRICE CARTELS? DO GERMAN COURTS SHARE THIS VIEW?

An information exchange can account to severe violations of competition law and the boundaries between an information exchange and hard-core cartels are sometimes blurred. Still, differences are substantial and German courts increasingly acknowledge that while there is a presumption of damages in cartel cases, there is – according to some recent judgments by lower German courts – none in information exchange cases. This distinction seems to be sensible. 

IN WHAT WAYS HAVE NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND SOFTWARE ENABLED YOU TO PROVIDE MORE SOPHISTICATED DEAL ASSESSMENTS? WHAT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CAN NOW BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT?

Geo-information data has become an important basis for better market definition assessments in many industries. Customer-centred catchment areas and regional heat maps have become standard tools in our practice. Big data analytics and machine learning are new frontiers and we are exploring the benefits they bring us. I am sure, however, that they will significantly influence the work of empirical economists in the near future.

HOW DO YOU EXPECT THE REGULATORY LANDSCAPE TO DEVELOP IN GERMANY OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

It is obvious that Germany follows a more heavy-handed approach with regards to digital platforms than some other European countries. This is visible in the Facebook matter, the hotel booking cases or cases on selective distribution systems. By running those “pilot cases”, the German competition authority was also highly influential in pushing Europe in its entirety to a more proactive approach (eg, regarding Google). To some extent, they also experienced substantial resistance by the courts, eg, with the recent Coty judgment.

TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU AGREE WITH THE VIEW THAT MORE INTERVENTION AND TIGHTER COMPETITION LAWS ARE REQUIRED IN THE DIGITAL MARKETS SPACE?

The time it takes until a decision is made is certainly an issue. I worked for a complainant on the Google Shopping case in 2010; the decision was finally delivered in 2017. Regardless of whose side you’re on, this decision came too late. This is equally true for the Google Android decision: the transfer of Google’s strong market position in search engines to the mobile world has already been accomplished.

WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE CASE YOU HAVE WORKED ON OVER THE COURSE OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR? 

One of the first mega mergers I was working on was the General Electric/Honeywell merger in 2001. This multibillion-dollar transaction was approved by the US competition authorities but was prohibited by the European Commission. I worked for the Commission, together with Lars-Hendrik Röller, reassessing the case. Later – as part of the Chief Economist Team – I also supported the Commission’s intervention at the European Courts. 

HOW DO YOU SEE THE FIELD OF COMPETITION ECONOMICS DEVELOPING OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

Competition economics has again become a fascinating topic – digital markets are driving the agenda. Competition authorities are discussing new approaches. For example, how to deploy access to new data and new methods? How to value innovation and variety of products in these new environments? Do we also have to become stricter, in light of the recent tendency of more market concentration and higher profit margins? We will have to – and I am sure we will – find answers to those questions over the coming years!

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Germany - Competition Economists

Hans W Friederiszick is a director of ECA Economics and one of the founders of E.CA Economics. Dr Friederiszick has extensive experience in advising clients in all fields of competition economics (cartels, merger cases, abuse of a dominant position and state aid cases) and has led teams of economists on international antitrust investigations. He is a member of the steering committee of the Association of Competition Economics (ACE).

Major international engagements in recent years include: the takeover of some assets of Unitymedia by Vodafone, the Air Berlin/TUI joint venture, EU Phase I, the Holcim/Cemex West transaction, EU Phase II and the Holcim/Lafarge transaction, EU Phase I (merger); acting as an economic expert in the synthetic rubber cartel case, UK Court proceeding, for a group of European tyre manufacturers (private litigation); and the Visa/MasterCard litigation regarding interchange fees, UK Court proceeding, for a group of retailers (private litigation).

Further engagements comprise the representation of the leading German grocery retailer in various proceedings (sector inquiry, EDEKA/Kaiser’s Tengelmann merger); economic representation of Infineon in the EU investigation of the smart card chip industry (administrative proceedings and follow-on litigation in the UK); supporting Deutsche Bahn and ÖBB in relation to EU state aid and 102 proceedings in various rail markets; acting in several information exchange cases of branded products (on defence side; drugstore products, coffee, cookies, flour). He also supported ASICS in the German court proceedings regarding selective distribution systems and supported the parties in the audiobooks case in Germany (Audible).

Hans W Friederiszick is a research fellow at ESMT Berlin and a member of the steering committee of ACE.

WWL says: Hans Friederiszick is lauded by peers as “one of the best names” in the competition space. He has considerable expertise in leading teams in international antitrust investigations.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Germany which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Competition: Economists

Dr Hans W Friederiszick is a director at E.CA Economics and a former member of the chief economist team at DG Competition. Hans W Friederiszick has advised clients on the following major international engagements: the Air Berlin/TUI joint venture, EU Phase I; the Holcim/Cemex West transaction, EU Phase II, and the Holcim/Lafarge transaction, EU Phase I (merger); acting as an economic expert in the synthetic rubber cartel case, UK court proceeding, for a group of European tyre manufacturers (private litigation); the Visa/MasterCard litigation regarding interchange fees, UK court proceeding, for a group of retailers (private litigation); and acting as an economic expert in the air cargo cartel case, German court proceeding, for a group of international freight forwarders (private litigation).

Further engagements comprise the representation of the leading German grocery retailer in various proceedings (sector inquiry, EDEKA/Kaiser’s Tengelmann merger); economic representation of Infineon in the EU investigation of the smart-card chip industry (administrative proceedings and follow-on litigation); and supporting Deutsche Bahn and ÖBB in relation to EU state aid and 102 proceedings in various rail markets, acting in several information exchange cases of branded products (on defence side). He also supported ASICS in the German court proceedings regarding selective distribution systems and supported the parties in the audio books case in Germany (Audible).

Hans W Friederiszick is a research fellow at ESMT Berlin. Recent research addresses the economics of regional state aid (chapter, Wolters Kluwer), efficiencies in article 102 TFEU cases (JCLE), selective distribution systems (Journal of Antitrust Enforcement) and on remunicipalisation in the German waste industry (NZKart). He is a member of the steering committee of the Association of Competition Economics (ACE).

WWL says: Hans Friederiszick is "one of the best" competition economists in the market today and is praised for his extensive knowledge of European cartel proceedings.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Competition which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Consulting Experts: Experts - Economics - Competition Economists

Dr Hans W Friederiszick is a director at E.CA Economics and a former member of the chief economist team at DG Competition. Hans W Friederiszick has advised clients on major international engagements including: the Air Berlin/TUI joint venture, EU Phase I; the Holcim/Cemex West transaction, EU Phase II, and the Holcim/Lafarge transaction, EU Phase I (merger); acting as an economic expert in the synthetic rubber cartel case, UK Court proceeding, for a group of European tyre manufacturers (private litigation); the Visa/MasterCard litigation regarding interchange fees, UK Court proceeding, for a group of retailers (private litigation); acting as an economic expert in the air cargo cartel case, German Court proceeding, for a group of international freight forwarders (private litigation).

Further engagements include the representation of a leading German grocery retailer in various proceedings (sector inquiry, EDEKA/Kaiser's Tengelmann merger); economic representation of Infineon in the EU investigation of the smart-card chip industry (administrative proceedings and follow-on litigation); and supporting Deutsche Bahn and ÖBB in relation to EU state aid and 102 proceedings in various rail markets, acting in several information exchange cases of branded products (on defence side). He also supported ASICS in the German court proceedings regarding selective distribution systems and supported the parties in the audio books case in Germany (Audible).

Hans W Friederiszick is a research fellow at ESMT Berlin. Recent research addresses the economics of regional state aid (Wolters Kluwer), efficiencies in article 102 TFEU cases (JCLE), selective distribution systems (Journal of Antitrust Enforcement) and the remunicipalisation in the German waste industry (NZKart). He is a member of the steering committee of the Association of Competition Economics (ACE).

WWL says: Hans Friederiszick is recognised as "one of the best" in the field, with experience working in a wide range of competition issues, from cartels to mergers.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Consulting Experts which can be purchased from our Shop.

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