Mark-E. Orth

Meo-Law (Munich)
Lawyer (Partner)

Mark-E. Orth studied law with additional economics training at the University of Bayreuth and subsequently worked as a legal trainee in the antitrust department of a leading German law firm. From 2002 to 2008, he worked as a scientific assistant at the sports law chair of the University of Bayreuth. In 2007, RA Orth founded the Munich Antitrust Forum with two friendly colleagues, from which a high-quality network of antitrust lawyers has since emerged. In 2008, he founded his law firm MEO. In addition, Mr. Orth is a lecturer at the German Sports University in Cologne and lecturer at HTW Chur and regularly lectures at national and international sports law congresses. His clients include international sports federations, Bundesliga football clubs and individual athletes as well as trade unions, sporting goods manufacturers and television companies. Mr. Orth also regularly works for political decision-makers if antitrust issues have to be clarified before the adoption of regulations relating to sports law. In addition to European antitrust law, his sound legal knowledge also includes US antitrust law and Swiss antitrust law.


1268 Bulletin

Mark-E. Orth Sports & competition law : An overview of EU and national case law


“The NCAA is not above the law”. This statement of US Supreme Court (USC) Justice Kavanaugh, expressing a self-evident fact, makes it obvious that the sporting federations have had difficulties in the past realizing that competition law applies to their rules and regulations. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Meca-Medina unveiled the general applicability of competition law to sports regulations and offered the Wouters criteria in case that specific sporting provisions pursue specific goals, which are not in themselves contrary to Art. 101 TFEU, in a proportionate, non-discriminatory manner. The ISU case is a gamechanger, where the Commission has chosen to render a prohibition decision instead of just accepting commitments. With the prohibition decision in ISU, the Commission has shown a deep understanding of the basic problems clubs and athletes have to experience every day when dealing with federations. With the GC judgment the legal certainty which can be derived from this decision is once more enlarged. In this Foreword, I have highlighted the major decisions in sports and competition law, not dealing with cases which take place in the sports branch but which are not sports-specific, such as decisions dealing with distribution agreements, and also leaving aside procedures which have not yet been closed by decision or just fact-based interim assessments.


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