Romina Polley’s practice focuses on German and European cartel proceedings (including dawn raid assistance and applying for leniency), merger control, advice on monopolies, sector inquiries, restructuring distribution agreements and competition litigation before the German and European courts.

She has substantial experience in the chemical, consumer goods, digital markets, IT, construction, defense, digital media and automotive industries.

A main focus of Romina’s practice in recent years has been cartel investigations. She has acted as counsel in various cartel proceedings before the German and European antitrust authorities in the areas of consumer detergents, food packaging, auto safety systems, auto steel, sausages, beer, confectionery, dishwashing detergent and others. In particular, she is experienced in applying for leniency, conducting internal investigations, coordinating parallel antitrust proceedings in various countries and negotiating settlements with the antitrust authorities. Follow on-damage claim litigation also forms part of her activities.

An additional focus of Romina’s recent engagements has been on European and German merger control-dealing with cases in front of the European Commission and the Federal Cartel Office including in-depth investigations and remedy negotiations.

Finally, she recently concluded commitment proceedings before the FCO in an abuse of dominance case.

Romina joined the firm as a partner in 2004.

Notable Experience

  • ArcelorMittal in the Federal Cartel Office’s (FCO) investigation regarding automotive flat steel products.

  • International Olympic Committee (IOC) in a German cartel/abuse of dominance investigation of the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) with respect to the legality of Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter (and the implementation of said rule in Germany) restricting athletes and their individual sponsors from advertising during the Olympic Games.

  • Kia Motors Corporation in its successful appeal before the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court with respect to infringing EU law in the “raw data” controversy, before the Federal Court of Justice and preliminary ruling proceedings at the European Court of Justice.

  • Henkel in follow on cartel damages litigation before several German courts and in litigation before the European General Court.

  • Rimowa in restructuring of distribution proceedings and litigation with a former dealer on access to its distributions system before the Federal Court of Justice.

  • International Flavors & Fragrances in EU and ROW merger proceedings related to its acquisition of Frutarom Industries.

  • Accor in the acquisition of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Management.

  • Google in FCO administrative proceedings regarding changes to an ad blocking agreement with another company.

  • Google with regard to ancillary copyright proceedings at Federal Cartel Office.

  • Samsonite International in its acquisition of Tumi Holdings.

  • SPIE in the acquisition of the German SAG Group.

  • Baxter International, the world’s second-largest maker of dialysis products, in EU merger control proceedings with respect to the acquisition of Gambro.

  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in the global antitrust aspects of its announced three-part transaction with Novartis involving its Consumer Healthcare, Vaccines, and Oncology businesses.

  • Henkel in numerous merger control proceedings before the European Commission and the Federal Cartel Office.

  • The Walt Disney Company in merger control proceedings before the Federal Cartel Office with respect to the acquisition of Das Vierte GmbH.

  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Germany GmbH in litigation before the regional court of München with Cineplex group of cinemas on remuneration for 3D movies.

  • Whirlpool in EU merger control proceedings regarding its acquisition of the trademark rights of the German household brand “Privileg” from Otto.

  • ArjoWiggins in preliminary ruling proceedings at European Court of Justice regarding third party access to the Federal Cartel Office’s file in cartel cases (Pfleiderer case).

  • ES Plastic in the European Commission’s investigation in the retail food packaging sector.

  • Google with regard to a complaint by the German newspaper and magazine publishers’ association to the German Federal Cartel Office.

  • Haribo in the German Federal Cartel Office’s resale price maintenance investigation.

  • Krombacher in the German Federal Cartel Office’s beer cartel investigation.

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Selected Activities

  • Member of Executive-M.B.L.-HSG faculty, and speaker at the postgraduate program Executive Master of European and International Business Law (E.M.B.L.-HSG) of the University of St.Gallen (2013-2019)
  • Lecturer in German and European Competition Law, University of Cologne

Publications

“Die P2B-Verordnung und ihre Bedeutung für das Kartellrecht” (co-author with Tobias Pesch and Hans Tönnies), Wirtschaft und Wettbewerb, October 4, 2019, p. 494.

“Strategische und taktische Überlegungen zur Geltendmachung und Abwehr von Ansprüchen aus Kartellverstößen: Die Sicht der Kartellbeteiligten” (co-author with C. Rother and A. Weitbrecht), Handbuch Private Kartellrechtsdurchsetzung, September 11, 2019.

“Challenges to the Dichotomy of Horizontal/Vertical Restrictions of Competition in Hybrid Relationships,” European Competition Law Review, April 11, 2019.

Auswirkungen der 9. GWB-Novelle auf den Zusammenschlussbegriff,” in: Kokott/Pohlmann/Polley (Hrsg.), Festschrift für Dirk Schroeder. Europäisches, deutsches und internationales Kartellrecht, Köln, 2018, S. 657-670.

“Best Practices zum Verfahren in der deutschen Zusammenschlusskontrolle?” Wirtschaft und Wettbewerb, November 3, 2017, p.536.

“Softwareverträge und Kartellrecht,” Handbuch EDV-Recht, Otto Schmidt (Ed. Jochen Schneider), fifth edition, 2017, co-author with Thomas Graf.

Polley, Antitrust Enforcement in Germany in 2016, in: Paper for Global Competition Review LIVE Duesseldorf 2016.

Polley, Kronzeugenregelung in der Krise – Das schärfste Schwert der Kartellverfolgung droht in der Praxis stumpf zu werden (Leniency Program in a Crisis – The Sharpest Weapon in Cartel Prosecution Risks to Become a Blunt Sword), in: Lebensmittel Zeitung, January 22, 2016.

Polley, Kronzeugenanträge: Schwierige Zeiten für Leniency (Leniency applications: Difficult Times for Leniency), in: Paper for Best Practices Kartellrecht Summit 2015, Bundesverband der Unternehmensjuristen e.V.

Polley, Is the Continued Success of Leniency in Cartel Cases in Danger? Some Comments from a Private Practitioner’s Perspective, in: CPI Antitrust Chronicle, September 2015.

Polley, Third Party Access to File in Competition Cases, in The EEA and EFTA Court – Decentred Integration, Hart Publishing; Oxford and Portland, Oregon, 2014, p. 435-458.

DGRI Jahrbuch 2013, Schutzrechtsgebrauch und –missbrauch: Patentunterlassungsklagen als Verstoß gegen Artikel 102 AEUV.

Polley, The FCO new fining guidelines – A „more national approach“ undermining uniform application of Article 101 TFEU, ECLR 2014, p. 141-147.

Polley “Digital evidence gathering in dawn raids”, April 2013.

Polley, Parental Liability in Joint Venture Cases, June 2012.

Polley, Kartellrechtliche Grenzen des Informationsaustauschs zwischen Wettbewerbern bei M&A-Transaktionen und anderen Anlässen, Corporate Finance law, Vol. 3, May 21, 2012, p.117-126, co-author with Tilman Kuhn.

Polley/Kuhn/Wegmann, Die Beschlagnahme von vor Verfahrenseröffnung erstellter Anwaltskorrespondenz in deutschen Kartellverfahren, KSzW 2012, p. 206 et seq.

Polley/Zagrosek, The German Pfleiderer decision. Protecting the national leniency programme, Competition Law Insight, 20 March 2012.

Settlements bei der Europäischen Kommission und beim Bundeskartellamt - ein Praxisvergleich, WuW 11/2012, 14 (together with Silke Heinz).

Events