Covington & Burling (Brussels)

Christian Ahlborn

Covington & Burling (Brussels)

Christian Ahlborn is a partner with Covington & Burling based in the firm’s Brussels office. He advises on all areas of global competition law and has a broad range of experience in relation to complex M&A, merger control, market dominance, and state aid issues. He is well-known for his work on numerous high-profile matters over the past two decades, such as Deutsche Boerse/London Stock Exchange, Glencore/Xstrata, E.ON/RWE, and others. As a trained economist, Christian Ahlborn brings both his legal and economic experience to bear on the cases on which he advises. Christian’s experience spans many industry sectors, with a particular depth in technology, financial services, fast-moving consumer goods, and energy. During his career, Christian has been seconded to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition and to the Bundeskartellamt. Christian is recognized as a leading practitioner by both Chambers and Legal 500. Christian studied law and economics at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and the Université Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne), and holds a masters of law and a masters of economics from the London School of Economics. He is qualified in England & Wales and in Germany, and speaks English, French, and German.


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2474 Bulletin

Christian Ahlborn, Peter Camesasca, Carole Maczkovics, Johan Ysewyn The EU Commission commences the implementation of the Foreign Subsidies Regulation aimed at preventing foreign subsidies from distorting the EU internal market


The Foreign Subsidies Regulation (“FSR”) enters into force today, 12 July 2023. It creates a new instrument designed to prevent foreign subsidies from distorting the EU internal market (see our blog). The objective is to level the playing field within EU markets between companies subject to (...)

Christian Ahlborn, Laurie-Anne Grelier, Carole Maczkovics, James Marshall, Melissa Van Schoorisse, Sibel Yilmaz, Johan Ysewyn The EU Commission publishes the Implementing Regulation for the Foreign Subsidies Regulation


What does the new EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) mean for companies doing business in the EU?* The EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) adopted in December 2022 creates a new instrument to prevent foreign subsidies from distorting the European Union (EU) internal market. It aims to (...)

Carole Maczkovics, Johan Ysewyn, Peter Camesasca, Sophie Bertin, Christian Ahlborn, Sibel Yilmaz The EU Parliament and Council passes into force the Foreign Subsidies Regulation designed to prevent the distortion of the internal market


Regulation (EU) 2022/2560 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2022 on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market (FSR) entered into force on 12 January 2023 and will start to apply as of 12 July 2023. The FSR creates a brand new instrument to fill a regulatory (...)

Christian Ahlborn, Rolf Ali, Tomos Griffiths The EU Commission opens public consultation on the draft Implementation Regulation which aims to facilitate the implementation of the Digital Markets Act


The Digital Markets Act (“DMA”) will apply from 2 May 2023. To facilitate its implementation, the European Commission (“Commission”) aims to publish an accompanying DMA Implementing Regulation (“IR”). In anticipation of this, the (“Commission”) has sought feedback via a public consultation (...)

Simon Pritchard, Christian Ahlborn The UK Competition Authority publishes new guidelines for M&A transactions, with notable changes including a reduced bar for the SLC test and a reduced focus on market shares


This article has been nominated for the 2022 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The new Merger Assessment Guidelines are out. Revised guidelines are long overdue, as the outgoing MAGs have a Jurassic quality in dating back to September (...)

Christian Ahlborn, Christoph Barth, David-Julien dos Santos Goncalves Foreign investment: An overview of EU and national case law


This foreword provides an overview of the developments of foreign investment (“FI”) regimes globally during 2020 and, more specifically, highlights the trends over the year in the area of FI. Historically, the European Union (“EU”) has had one of the most open investment regimes in the world and has been a key destination for foreign investments. The openness of the EU towards foreign investments was often seen as an important reason for its economic success. But the idea of unrestricted openness of the economy to foreign investments started to wane when the so-called ‘new investors’ – referring primarily to investors from China and Russia – started acquiring core technologies and key companies in Europe.

Christian Ahlborn, Bernd Meyring, Annamaria Mangiaracina, Will Leslie, Eoin O’Reilly, Asimina Michailidou, Lodewick Prompers The EU Commission publishes its Digital Markets Act proposal


This article has been nominated for the 2021 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The European Commission’s Digital Markets Act proposal is set to reshape how digital businesses operate in Europe and reset the rules of the game for those (...)

Christian Ahlborn, Christopher Bellamy KC, Eamonn Doran, Michael Cutting, Nicole Kar, Paula Riedel, Robert Gavin The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal delivers its judgment dismissing challenges on material influence, SLC and remedies brought by a broadcasting company (British Sky Broadcasting Group)


In a judgment handed down on 29 September, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), dismissed an appeal brought by British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (Sky) against a decision of the Competition Commission (CC). The CAT upheld part of an appeal against the same decision brought by Virgin Media (...)

Christian Ahlborn, William Allan The EU General Court, in upholding the Commission’s decision on abuse of a dominant position of the PC operating systems, turns back the clock (Microsoft)


Overview In its 2004 decision, the Commission concluded that Microsoft had committed two types of abuse which where both related to the dominant position which it held through Microsoft Windows in the PC operating systems market: first, the Commission held that Microsoft had failed to supply (...)

8120 Review

Frederic Jenny, Christian Ahlborn, Jeremy Bacharach, Christoph Barth, Christian Bovet, Marcel Boyer, Jacques Buhart, Maria Pilar Canedo Arrillaga, Carpagnano Michele, Daniel A. Crane, Aymeric De Moncuit, Valentine Delaloye, Jacques Derenne, David-Julien dos Santos Goncalves, David Gabathuler, Mark Griffiths, Leigh Hancher, David Henry, Pierre Horna, David Kupka, Siún O’Keeffe, Christian Ritz, Giulio Cesare Rizza, Matthias Schlau, Mario Siragusa, Anastasia Usova, Viala Faustine, Masako Wakui Competition law and health crisis


The unexpected shock provoked by the Covid-19 crisis and the measures taken to limit the spread of the pandemic have affected the functioning of many markets. Throughout the world, competition authorities which, in the last decade, had been enforcing their laws in the context of steady (...)



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