Romina Polley’s practice focuses on German and European cartel proceedings (including dawn raid assistance and applying for leniency), merger control, advice on monopolies, cooperation agreements, and distribution and licensing agreements.


She has substantial experience in the chemical, consumer goods, 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. She also handles requests for referral to obtain jurisdiction of the European Commission in cases initially subject to national merger control and multinational merger notifications.

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.

  • Kia Motors Corporation in its successful appeal before the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court with respect to infringing EU law in the “raw data” controversy.

  • International Flavors & Fragrances in its acquisition of Fragrance Resources. 

  • Samsonite International in its acquisition of Tumi Holdings.

  • SPIE in the acquisition of the German SAG Group.

  • Triton Container International in the announced all-stock merger of equals transaction with TAL International Group to create the world’s largest lessor of intermodal freight containers.

  • 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.

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

Publications

“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