Robbert Snelders focuses his practice on EU competition law.

He has extensive experience in EU and worldwide merger control proceedings, EU and international cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, litigation before national courts and the European Courts in Luxembourg, and arbitration proceedings.

Robbert is a Dutch citizen. He joined the firm in New York in 1992 and became a partner in 2001. 

Notable Experiences

Counsel in numerous EU cartel investigations and cartel settlements including:

  • The first-ever EU leniency application (lysine), the first-ever EU cartel settlement decision (DRAMs), and the first-ever EU cartel settlement decision after issuance of a formal statement of objections (trucks), as well as cartel matters spanning a broad range of other industries (e.g., the nucleotide, faucets, bitumen, wax, optical disk drives, bearings and other automotive components, gasoline, natural gas, shipping and financial services sectors).

  • Recent agency highlights include: Citigroup in the EU investigations of alleged FX Spot, Yen Libor and Euribor rate manipulation and the EU investigation of CDS data licensing; Volvo/Renault in an EU cartel settlement concerning trucks, NSK in an EU cartel settlement concerning bearings; and K-Line in an EU cartel settlement concerning maritime car carriers.

  • Recent appeal highlights include: Sony in its pending appeal against a €30 million cartel fine in the ODD sector; ExxonMobil in securing a €20 million fine reduction before the EU General Court in connection with the paraffin wax cartel.

See More

Counsel in numerous merger and alliance cases including:

  • Google/Fitbit

  • Mittal/Arcelor; ArcelorMittal/Ilva

  • Peugeot/GM (Opel)

  • Exxon/Mobil; ExxonMobil/XTO

  • IBM/RedHat, IBM/Cognos, IBM/Telelogic, IBM/Rational, IBM/Informix and IBM/PriceWaterhouseCoopers

  • Samsung Electronics/HP

  • Sony/BMG and Sony/SonyEriccson

  • Philip Morris/Nabisco

  • Alitalia/Air France

  • GM/Fiat

  • Nokia/Siemens and Nokia/Trolltech

  • Suntory/Beam

See More

Counsel in numerous unilateral conduct and other investigations including:

  • Google in an ongoing EU investigation covering virtually all aspects of Google’s business, including its appeal before the EU General Court against a €2.4 billion fine in the Search (Shopping) matter.

  • IBM in its successful defense against a series of high-profile antitrust complaints before the EU concerning mainframes and mid-range servers.

  • Sony BMG’s successful defense in the 2010 EU investigation of its online licensing arrangements with Apple’s iTunes platform.

  • Sony in an Article 101/102 investigation into Blu-ray and HD-DVD standard setting.

  • Walt Disney in EU investigations of MFN clauses with pay-TV broadcasters and virtual print fees for digital cinema.

  • Philips in connection with an EU investigation of an IP licensing program.

  • Dassault Systemes, ASML and other software, IT and telecom firms in various matters including EU investigations.

See More


  • Member, Scientific Council, College of Europe’s Global Competition Law Centre


“Belgium,” Lexology Getting the Deal Through: Dominance 2023, March 2023

Antitrust Developments in Europe (annual publication)

The Dominance and Monopolies Review – 10th Edition, 2022

“Belgium,” The Dominance and Monopolies Review – Edition 9, 2021

Cartel Settlements: An Overview of EU and National Case Law,” Concurrences, June 17, 2021

Dutch Court Rules On Legal Privilege For In-House Lawyers,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, March 4, 2021 (originally published January 4, 2021 by Concurrences)

ECJ Annuls Paramount Commitments on Cross-Border Pay-TV Licensing,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, January 4, 2021

EU Commission Call for Contributions on ‘Competition Policy Supporting the Green Deal’,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, October 19, 2020

“Belgium,” The Dominance and Monopolies Review – Edition 8, 2020 

Belgium,” The Dominance and Monopolies Review – Edition 7, 2019

Co-editor, EU Competition Law Vol. VII: EU Competition Law & Intellectual Property (Claeys & Casteels), November 2019

Belgium,” The Dominance and Monopolies Review – Edition 6, 2018

Online Sales of Luxury Goods in Selective Distribution Networks – Coty Judgment,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, January 8, 2018

“Belgium” by Robbert Snelders, Thomas Woolfson and Athina Van Melkebeke, The Dominance and Monopolies Review, Law Business Research, August 2017, p. 23-43 (Chapter 3)

Co-editor and co-author, Abuse of Dominance Under Article 102 TFEU (Claeys and Casteels)

Co-author, Antitrust Developments in Europe (annual; LexisNexis)