Bird & Bird (Paris)

Thomas Oster

Bird & Bird (Paris)
Lawyer (Partner)

Thomas is specialised in competition law, having significant experience in helping clients to avoid competition law pitfalls and representing them in proceedings before the competition authorities. Thomas is a partner in the Competition & EU practice, based in Paris. His practice covers both contentious and non-contentious national and European competition law, together with commercial and distribution law. Thomas has substantial experience of advising on cartel investigations and assisting companies in preparing leniency applications before the European Commission and the French Competition Authority. He helps to develop and implement competition compliance programs and provides assistance in notifications of transactions to the European Commission under the EC Merger Regulation and to the French Competition Authority. Thomas’ experience of competition law covers different angles, having worked in practice, in house and having done an internship at the French Competition Authority. On the commercial side, Thomas has experience of advising clients on the structuring of selective, exclusive or franchise distribution networks across Europe, as well as advising on supplier-distributors relationships and sales regulations. He also regularly assists clients in relation to product liability issues. Thomas regularly participates in seminars and conferences. He is a member of the association of competition law practitioners (APDC) and also of the French association for the study of competition Law (AFEC). Admitted to the Paris Bar in 2000, Thomas holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Competition Law from the Faculty of Economics of Rennes, an LL.M in International Business from the University of Manchester and an LL.B in European Business law from the Faculty of law of Strasbourg. He speaks French and English.

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Articles

1721 Bulletin

Thomas Oster, Eliott Costet The French President enacts an ordinance finalizing the transposition into French law of the ECN+ Directive which aims to strengthen the powers of national competition authorities and increase their effectiveness

156

On 26 May this year, a presidential ordinance (the Ordinance) perfected the transposition into French law of the ECN+ European Directive of 11 December 2018, which aims to strengthen the powers of national competition authorities and increase their effectiveness. Several provisions of the (...)

Thomas Oster, Cathie-Rosalie Joly The French Competition Authority publishes its report on the Fintech sector highlighting that the entry of big tech companies in the payment sector raises potential competition law risks

182

On 29 April The French Competition Authority (FCA) published its report on the Fintech sector. This report follows its payment sector inquiry launched in January 2020, which primarily focused on the disruption brought by new technologies and new market players. In this report the Authority (...)

Florence Leroux, Thomas Oster The French Competition Authority imposes interim measures on a Big Tech giant to negotiate in good faith with press publishers and news agencies the remuneration associated with the use of their content based on transparent, objective, and non-discriminatory criteria (Google)

104

On 9 April 2020, the FCA imposed interim measures on Google, ordering the big tech giant to negotiate in good faith with press publishers and news agencies the remuneration associated to the use of their content based on transparent, objective and non-discriminatory criteria. These interim (...)

Florence Leroux, Thomas Oster The French Competition Authority fines a big tech and its wholesalers a record €1.24 billion for engaging in three anticompetitive practices with its distributors in the retail market of its products (Apple / Tech Data / Ingram Micro)

111

On 16 March 2020, the French Competition Authority (FCA) imposed a €1.1 billion fine on Apple, the highest fine ever handed out to a company. The FCA considered that Apple had engaged in three anticompetitive practices with its distributors in the retail market for Apple products (excluding (...)

Florence Leroux, Thomas Oster The French Competition Authority publishes its contribution to the debate on competition policy and digital challenges with a section dedicated to the redefinition of its merger control tools in the digital economy

74

Since 2017, the French Competition Authority (FCA) has been working on the simplification and modernisation of merger control in France, which resulted in particular in : (i) several public consultations on new guidelines aiming at replacing the current ones in the course of 2020 ; (ii) a new (...)

Florence Leroux, Thomas Oster The French Supreme Court annuls the fines previously imposed by the Competition Authority on ten banks for agreeing on the introduction of unjustified interbank fees (BPCE / Crédit agricole / BNP Paribas / Société générale...)

125

A new development in the judicial saga around the 2010 decision by which the FCA imposed a EUR 384.9 million fine on 11 French banks for agreeing on the introduction of unjustified interbank fees during the transition towards a new digital system for processing checks. On 29 January 2020, the (...)

Thomas Oster, Florence Leroux The French Competition Authority publishes its priorities for 2020 which includes the competition issues in the digital sector and a focus on the environment and sustainable development

124

The French Competition Authority (“FCA”) published in mid-January its priorities for 2020 which include in particular the competition issues in the digital sector, a focus on the environment and sustainable development, competition advocacy with a strong focus on trade associations and unions and (...)

Thomas Oster, Florence Leroux The French Competition Authority fines a company for dawn raid obstruction by breaching a seal and altering the functioning of a mailbox (Akka)

26

On 22 May 2019, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) imposed a EUR 900,000 fine on Akka Technologies (“AT”) for dawn raid obstruction, a first for the FCA. Since 2008, the FCA can impose a fine of up to 1% of a company’s highest worldwide turnover for obstructing its investigations. The FCA (...)

Thomas Oster, Florence Leroux The French Government adopts a decree introducing several measures in order to modernise and simplify the merger notification to the French Competition Authority

15

On 18 April 2019, the French government adopted a decree ("Decree") introducing several measures aimed at modernizing and simplifying the notification of mergers to the French Competition Authority ("FCA"). The Decree, which came into force on 21 April 2019, has been preceded by a public (...)

Florence Leroux, Thomas Oster The French Competition Authority issues an opinion against the 7,7% increase in the tariffs of regulated retail electricity proposed by the energy regulator

15

On March 25th 2019, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) issued – on its own initiative - an opinion in which it advises against the 7.7 % increase in the tariffs of regulated retail electricity proposed by the French energy regulator (“CRE”) in a ruling adopted in February 2019. The FCA raised (...)

Thomas Oster The EU Commission prohibits a railway merger due to very significant overlaps in the companies’ activities in the fields of railway signalling and very high-speed trains and the risk of creating a dominant position (Siemens / Alstom)

47

The European Commission’s decision to block the Siemens-Alstom mega-merger in February 2019 provoked the anger of the French and German governments that had backed the deal. They accused the Commission of playing against the interests of the European economy by preventing the emergence of a (...)

Thomas Oster, Florence Leroux The French Competition Authority imposes interim measures on a Big Tech company following a complaint alleging abuse of its dominant position on the online search advertising market (Amadeus / Google)

65

On January 31st 2019, the French Competition Authority (“the FCA”) imposed interim measures on Google following a complaint lodged in May 2018 by Amadeus (a company offering directory enquiry services) alleging that Google had abused its dominant position on the online search advertising market (...)

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