Fields of law

Competition law

The term “competition law” refers more narrowly to the law on fair trading. In Germany, unfair competition law is based on the Unfair Competition Act (UWG). The regulations there are intended to ensure free, but nevertheless fair economic behavior of every company in competition. This is intended to protect competitors but also increasingly consumers from unlawful business practices. The UWG provides competitors, legally capable associations for the promotion of commercial or independent professional interests and other qualified organizations with the legal means to defend themselves against unlawful conduct by companies.

Typical types of conduct that occur in connection with competition law disputes are misleading business practices (for example in the form of advertising statements), aggressive sales methods, breaches of market conduct rules (for example consumer protection standards), unauthorized advertising by telephone or e-mail and the disparagement of competitors or their products.

As it is generally unreasonable for a company to have to accept anti-competitive behavior over a longer period of time and court proceedings regularly take months, if not years, claims in competition law are almost always initially enforced by way of interim legal protection (by means of a temporary injunction). This is usually preceded out of court by a so-called warning letter, which is intended to give the competitor the opportunity to avoid legal proceedings by, among other things, submitting a cease-and-desist declaration with a penalty clause. The deadlines set are often considerably shorter than is the case in other areas of law. The person concerned in interim legal protection proceedings usually only learns of the initiated court proceedings once a decision has already been made against them. Accordingly, very considerable amounts of legal costs can quickly add up if a warning is not responded to promptly and correctly.

COXlegal has extensive experience in the field of competition law. Regardless of whether you want to enforce your rights against a competitor or whether you have been attacked with a warning letter, we will be happy to help you reliably.