Romina Polley’s practice focuses on German and European merger proceedings including in-depth investigations and remedies, cartel proceedings (including dawn raid assistance and applying for leniency), abuse of dominance proceedings, sector inquiries, licensing and 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, media, and automotive industries.

A main focus of Romina’s practice in recent years has been international merger control with proceedings before the European Commission, the Bundeskartellamt, and other competition authorities across the globe, including in-depth investigations with remedy proposals. Recent emphasis of her practice has been on digital platforms and access to data as competitive advantage in merger control proceedings.

An additional focus of Romina’s recent engagements 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.

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

Romina joined the firm as a partner in 2004.

Notable Experiences

  • The Walt Disney Company in the sale of its partnership interest in SRTL to RTL/Bertelsmann in German merger control proceedings.

  • IQVIA in merger control proceedings before the Bundeskartellamt in its acquisition of DAVASO GmbH.

  • Alliance Healthcare Deutschland (Walgreens Boots Alliance) on acquiring sole control over the German Gehe business from McKesson and the establishment of a joint venture with McKesson involving representation before the European Commission and the Bundeskartellamt.

  • Representation of Veolia before the Bundeskartellamt regarding its takeover bid for Suez.

  • International Flavors & Fragrances in its merger with DuPont’s Nutrition & Biosciences business involving U.S., EU and ROW merger proceedings.

  • DCC in Phase 2 merger proceedings regarding its acquisition of Primagas before the Dutch competition authority.

  • Adevinta ASA before the Bundeskartellamt in its $9.2 billion acquisition of eBay Classifieds Group, the classifieds arm of eBay Inc.

  • International Flavors & Fragrances in its acquisition of Frutarom before the European Commission and several ROW competition authorities.

  • ArcelorMittal in the Bundeskartellamt’s cartel investigation regarding automotive flat steel products.

  • International Olympic Committee (IOC) in a German cartel/abuse of dominance investigation of the Bundeskartellamt 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 the sale of its fruit and vegetable preparation business to Frulact, and in the $1.3 billion sale of its Microbial Control business unit to Lanxess AG.

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

  • Google with regard to abuse of dominance proceedings regarding ancillary copyright proceedings before the Bundeskartellamt leading to no action decision.

  • Samsonite International in its acquisition of Tumi Holdings before the Bundeskartellamt.

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

  • GlaxoSmithKline 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, e.g. in its acquisition of National Starch and Spotless, and the Bundeskartellamt.

  • The Walt Disney Company in merger control proceedings before the Bundeskartellamt 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 Bundeskartellamt’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 Bundeskartellamt.

  • Haribo in the Bundeskartellamt’s resale price maintenance investigation.

  • Krombacher in the Bundeskartellamt’s beer cartel investigation.

  • Chemoxal in follow on damages litigation in “hydrogene peroxide” litigation before Dortmund District Court.

See More

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)
  • Honorarprofessor and Lecturer in German and European Competition Law, University of Cologne


Lexology’s In Depth: Cartels and Leniency, 12th edition (editor and co-author of “Germany” chapter), Business Law Research, March 2024

Germany: Stronger enforcement powers for the German Federal Cartel Office with the New Competition Tool,” Concurrences Review N°1-2024, March 2024

The Dominance and Monopolies Review – 11th Edition

German Parliament Passes Powerful New Toolkit for Competition Agency,” (co-author with Janine Discher, Miroslav Georgiev, and Hendrik Wendland), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum, July 17, 2023.

Recent Developments in Cartel Enforcement in Germany – Fewer Cases but New Guidelines on Leniency and Fines,” Competition Policy International, August 2022.

The Dominance and Monopolies Review – 10th Edition, 2022.

“Gap cases in der formellen Fusionskontrolle?,” Zeitschrift für Wettbewerbsrecht (ZweR) 2021, 273 – 316 (co-author with Katharina Apel).

“Der Digital Markets Act – Brüssels neues Regulierungskonzept für Digitale Märkte“, Wu.W 2021, 198-206 (zusammen mit Friedrich Andreas Konrad)

“Germany,” The Dominance and Monopolies Review – 9th Edition, co-author with Katharina Apel, 2020.

Positive EC Guidance Needed under Regulation 2,” Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, Volume 11, Issue 8, October 2020, Pages 450–455, October 27, 2020.

“Unterschiedliche Interventionsraten in der deutschen und europäischen Fusionskontrolle – ein Erklärungsversuch anhand der aktuellen Fallpraxis des Bundeskartellamts,” Romina Polley, Festschrift für Gerhard Wiedemann zum 70. Geburtstag 2020, S. 467 ff.

EU Commission Call for Contributions on ‘Competition Policy Supporting the Green Deal’,” (co-author with Maurits Dolmans, Robbert Snelders, Richard Pepper, Frédéric de Bure, Laura Chovet Ballester and Giulio Cesare Rizza), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum, October 19 2020.

European Commission Announces New Policy to Accept Member State Referrals for Merger Review Even if EC and National Thresholds Are Not Met” (co-author with Nicholas Levy, Maurits Dolmans, Francisco Enrique González-Díaz, Patrick Bock, Christopher J. Cook, Séverine Schrameck, Paul Gilbert, Paul Stuart, John Messent, and Dan Tierney), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum, October 12, 2020.

Germany: Revised Draft Law to Introduce Much Awaited Proportionality Requirement for Patent Injunctions” (co-author with Elisabeth Macher, Nicolas Stilwell and Maurits Dolmans), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum, September 15, 2020. 

“Paradigmenwechsel in der deutschen Missbrauchsaufsicht – Der Referentenentwurf zum 10. GWB-Novelle,” Neue Zeitschrift für Kartellrecht (NZKart ) 2020, 113 (co-author with Rieke Kaup). 

The Dominance and Monopolies Review – 8th Edition – Germany, co-author with Katharina Apel, 2020.

Kommentierung Gruppenfreistellungsverordnung GVO 461/2010, in: Frankfurter Kommentar zum Kartellrecht, June 2020.

German Federal Court of Justice Provisionally Finds Facebook’s Data Collection Practices Abusive” (co-author with Laura Melusine Baudenbacher, Rieke Kaup, Friedrich Andreas Konrad), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum, June 26, 2020.

“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).