Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)

Valérie Lefever

Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Lawyer (Associate)

Valérie Lefever is an associate in the competition law team of Van Bael & Bellis, one of the leading firms in EU competition law. She is a Belgian-qualified lawyer whose practice focuses on all aspects of European and Belgian competition law, as well as on European regulatory issues. Prior to joining Van Bael & Bellis in 2012, she worked in the competition practice of an international law firm and for the University of Namur as a teaching assistant and researcher in EU law, EU competition law and the regulation of electronic communications. Valérie was also a trainee at the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission. In addition to her law degree from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), she holds a Masters degree in Economic Law from the University of Brussels (ULB) and an LL.M in European Law from King’s College London. Valérie is the author of several publications in the field of EU law, including in the Law of Information Technology Review (RDTI), the Belgian Competition Review (TBM / RCB) and Getting the Deal Through Telecoms & Media.

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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)


2445 Bulletin

Valérie Lefever, Peter L’Ecluse The Belgian Competition Authority imposes a fine on the professional organization of pharmacists on account of an anticompetitive agreement (Ordre des pharmaciens / Orde der Apothekers)


On 26 March 2021, the Belgian Competition Authority (Belgische Mededingingsautoriteit / Autorité belge de la Concurrence - BCA) announced that its Privileged and Confidential Attorney – Client Communication Competition College (Mededingingscollege / Collège de la Concurrence) had imposed a fine of (...)

Peter L’Ecluse, Valérie Lefever The EU Court of Justice states that the fee structure for music played at festivals adopted by collecting societies is not necessarily abusive (SABAM)


On 25 November 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU) delivered a judgment in case C-372/19 holding that the fee structure for music played at festivals adopted by collecting societies such as SABAM is not necessarily abusive under Article 102 TFEU. The case had come before (...)

Peter L’Ecluse, Valérie Lefever The Brussels Court of Appeal annuls the Competition Authority’s decision rejecting a football club’s request for interim measures (Virton / RBFA)


In a judgment delivered on 19 November 2020, the Markets Court of the Brussels Court of Appeal (Marktenhof / Cour des marchés) (the Markets Court) annulled the decision adopted on 29 June 2020 by the Competition College (Mededingingscollege / Collège de la concurrence) of the Belgian Competition (...)

Peter L’Ecluse, Valérie Lefever The EU Commission opens an in-depth State aid investigation into the authorization granted by Belgium to a gambling company to operate virtual betting (Ladbrokes)


On 23 October 2020, the European Commission (the Commission) published a notice (the Notice) inviting interested third parties to comment on the authorisation granted by Belgium to Derby NV, a local subsidiary of the betting and gambling company Ladbrokes PLC and operating in Belgium under the (...)

Valérie Lefever, Charlotte de Meeûs, Vincent Reijns The Belgian Competition Authority adopts fining guidelines which extend the scope to include the sanction for abuse of economic dependency


On 3 September 2020, the Belgian Competition Authority adopted new guidelines on the method of setting fines for competition law infringements (the “Fining Guidelines”). The Fining Guidelines were published in the Belgian Official Journal on 16 September 2020 and entered into force immediately. (...)

3260 Review

Jean-François Bellis, Valérie Lefever Commitments : The General Court of the European Union finds that a letter and e-mails from the European Commission interpreting commitments previously made binding do not constitute measures against which an action for annulment may be brought under Article 263 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (1&1 Telecom ; Multiconnect ; Mass Response Service)


On 9 October 2018, the Court of First Instance of the European Union (the "CFI") declared inadmissible the actions brought by three companies against four e-mails and one letter from the Commission concerning the commitments made binding in the context of the decision of 2 July 2014 authorising (...)

Jean-François Bellis, Valérie Lefever Exclusive control: The European Commission authorises a multi-national conglomerate operating in the telecommunications sector to takeover the exclusive control of a joint venture it previously had joint control on, subject to assume full responsibility for complying with the commitments submitted when the European Commission authorised the creation of the joint venture (Hutchison / Wind Tre)


On 31 August 2018, the European Commission authorised Hutchison to acquire sole control of Wind Tre, previously jointly controlled by Hutchison and VEON, on condition that Hutchison would resume compliance with the commitments that were a condition for the authorisation of the joint venture in (...)

Jean-François Bellis, Valérie Lefever Telecommunications: The European Commission authorizes a mobile service telecommunications provider to take over a fix telecommunications service provider in Austria, considering that there activities differ both and as a result are not closely competing (T-Mobile Austria / UPC Austria)


On 9 July 2018, following a preliminary examination ("Phase I"), the European Commission approved the acquisition of UPC Austria by T-Mobile Austria. Both companies provide telecommunications services in Austria. UPC offers mainly fixed services (with, however, limited activities as a mobile (...)

Jean-François Bellis, Valérie Lefever Standstill obligation: The Court of Justice of the European Union recalls that a merger is only subject to notification when there is a change of control of the targeted undertaking, with the result that a cooperation agreement may be denounced before the notification of the operation and before it’s clearance by competition authorities (EY / KPMG)


On 31 May 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the "Court") had the opportunity to clarify the scope of the standstill obligation included in Article 7(1) of Regulation 139/2004 of 20 January 2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings, i.e. the prohibition to (...)

Jean-François Bellis, Valérie Lefever Gun jumping: The European Commission imposes a fine of EUR 125,5 million to a multinational cable and telecommunications company based in the Netherlands for implementing its acquisition of the Portuguese telecommunications operator before notification or approval by the European Commission (Altice / PT Portugal)


On April 24, 2018, the European Commission announced that it had imposed a fine of €124.5 million on the Dutch group Altice for having acquired the Portuguese telecommunications and multimedia operator PT Portugal prior to the notification of this concentration and its clearance by the European (...)

Jean-François Bellis, Valérie Lefever Duty to state reasons: The General Court of the European Union annuls a Commission decision clearing the acquisition of a Dutch cable operator by an international group of telecommunications for failure to state adequate reasons (KPN)


On October 26, 2017, the Court of First Instance of the European Union annulled a 2014 decision by which the European Commission authorized Liberty Global to acquire the Dutch cable operator Ziggo, subject to compliance with commitments. Liberty Global is an international group of cable (...)

Jean-François Bellis, Valérie Lefever Gun jumping: The General Court of the European Union upholds a Commission decision imposing a EUR 20 million fine on a Norwegian company for implementing a concentration without prior notification or authorisation (Marine Harvest)


In a judgment of October 26, 2017, the European Court of First Instance confirmed the European Commission’s decision of July 23, 2014 to impose a fine of €20 million on the Norwegian fish farming company Marine Harvest for having acquired the Norwegian salmon producer Morpol in December 2012 (...)

Jean-François Bellis, Valérie Lefever Commitments: The European Commission, following an in-depth review, clears a merger between two American groups active in crop protection and seeds, subject to structural commitments aiming at maintaining price competition and innovation for pesticides (Dow / DuPont)


On 27 March 2017, following an in-depth Phase II review, the European Commission cleared the merger between the US groups Dow and DuPont, subject to compliance with commitments made by the parties. Dow is the parent company of the eponymous American group. It is active in the plastics, (...)

Jean-François Bellis, Valérie Lefever Commitments : The European Commission authorises takeover of a social network operator by a manufacturer of management software solutions, subject to conditions aiming at preserving competition between professional social networks (Microsoft / LinkedIn)


The European Commission has conditionally approved Microsoft’s acquisition of the LinkedIn professional social network. The conditions attached to this clearance were linked to the Commission’s concerns that the transaction would allow Microsoft to use the strong position of its Windows product (...)

Jean-François Bellis, Valérie Lefever Shipping consortium: The European Commission approves container liner shipping merger, providing that the target company withdraws its participation from a consortium on the trade routes between Northern Europe and North America (Hapag-Lloyd / UASC)


The European Commission has authorised the container liner shipping company Hapag-Lloyd to acquire one of its competitors, United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), on condition that UASC withdraws from the NEU1 consortium. Consortia, or alliances, are co-operative agreements between maritime (...)

Jean-François Bellis, Valérie Lefever Joint Venture : The European Commission clears a merger between mobile network operators in Italy providing that they allow a fourth operator to join the market (Hutchison 3G Italy / WIND / JV)


After an in-depth investigation, the European Commission has conditionally authorised the telecommunications companies Hutchison and VimpelCom to merge their Italian subsidiaries H3G and WIND into a single joint venture. Both Hutchison and VimpelCom are active in the retail market for mobile (...)

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