O’Melveny Worldwide

Christian Peeters is a partner in the firm’s Brussels office and an expert in competition law. Qualified as a German Rechtsanwalt, he has spent over 15 years practicing in London and Brussels. During this time Christian has counselled some of the world's leading businesses on their headline-grabbing transactions and bet-the company litigation. Several of these cases serve as precedents for the way antitrust is practiced today.

Christian’s competition law practice specializes in multi-jurisdictional merger cases as well as defenses in complex abuse of dominance and cartel investigations. He regularly counsels clients with strategic antitrust-related advice on M&A transactions, the drafting of distribution and other cooperation agreements, and the preparation and presentation of compliance programs. Christian has extensive experience representing clients before the European Commission, the German Federal Cartel Office and other agencies around the world. In addition to his antitrust practice, Christian advises clients on German foreign direct investment law. He also has litigation experience in SEC and DOJ investigations under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Antitrust Merger Control & Foreign Direct Investment

  • Coherent in relation to an aggregate USD 1 billion investment by Denso and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation in its silicon carbide business, a leading supplier of one of the key components for electric vehicles; 
  • Samsung Display in its USD 218 million acquisition of OLED microdisplay technology leader, eMagin Corporation;
  • Hydro in its EUR 285 million acquisition of Alumetal to create the leading integrated aluminium recycler in Europe;
  • Strava in its acquisition of advanced 3D mapping platform FATMAP;
  • Semtech in its USD 1.2 billion acquisition of IoT solutions provider Sierra Wireless;
  • DL Chemical in its USD 2.5 billion acquisition of specialty chemical manufacturer Kraton;
  • IAA in its GBP 225 million acquisition of Synetiq, a leading integrated salvage and vehicle dismantling company in the United Kingdom;
  • Hydro in the EUR 1.4 billion sale of its Hydro Rolling business, one of the largest global manufacturers of aluminum rolled products, to KPS Capital Partners;
  • rfXcel Corporation, a global leader in digital supply chain traceability solutions, in its acquisition by Antares Vision Group, an Italy-based global provider of intelligent track & trace, inspection and smart data management solutions for the life science and food & beverage sectors;
  • NortonLifeLock in its USD 360 million acquisition of Avira to expand its market-leading consumer Cyber Safety portfolio with one of the world’s most popular freemium cybersecurity and privacy solutions;
  • Honeywell in its EUR 425 million acquisition of Transnorm, a global leader in high-performance conveyor solutions;
  • Mentor Graphics in its USD 4.5 billion sale to Siemens to create the world’s leading supplier of industrial software for the Digital Enterprise;
  • Celanese in various transactions, including its acquisition of SO.F.TER. Group, one of the world’s largest independent thermoplastic compounders;
  • Honeywell in its USD 1.5 billion acquisition of Intelligrated, a leader in supply chain and warehouse automation solutions;
  • Honeywell in its USD 480 million acquisition of Xtralis, a leading global provider of aspirating smoke detection along with advanced perimeter security technologies and video analytics software;
  • Honeywell in its USD 5.1 billion acquisition of Elster, a leading provider of thermal gas solutions for commercial, industrial, and residential heating systems and gas, water, and electricity meters;
  • Honeywell in its acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich’s laboratory research chemicals business;
  • Honeywell in its USD 950 million sale of its automotive Consumer Products Group to investment company Rank Group;
  • Hydro in its joint venture cooperation with Orkla to establish the global leader in extruded aluminum solutions, Sapa;
  • Sumitomo Metal Industries in its merger with Nippon Steel Corporation to form the world’s second largest steelmaker;
  • Western Digital Corp. in its USD 4.5 billion acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies creating one of the world’s largest computer hard disk drive manufacturers;
  • The Coca-Cola Company in its proposed acquisition of China Huiyuan Juice Group Limited, the first merger case under the new Chinese antitrust merger control regime and at that time the biggest takeover by a foreign company ever attempted in China;
  • Tele Atlas in its USD 2.8 billion sale to TomTom, the first case under the European Commission’s then new non-horizontal merger guidelines;
  • Dade Behring in its USD 7 billion sale to Siemens, creating the world’s leading clinical laboratory diagnostics company;
  • Citigroup in its share exchange agreement with the US government under its TARP scheme;
  • Bear Stearns in its take-over by JPMorgan Chase, the overture to the then ensuing credit crunch.

Other Antitrust

  • Various matters for AMD, Samsung Electronics, and Hyundai Motor Company;
  • Apple before the Swiss Competition Commission in relation to Apple Pay and other mobile payment services;
  • Apple in its defense before the German Federal Cartel Office in relation to an investigation into the company’s trading practices concerning audiobooks;
  • Honeywell in its defense before the European Commission against a patent ambush allegation;
  • Honeywell in its defense before the European Commission concerning an investigation into the company’s refrigerants-related R&D cooperation with DuPont;
  • ABB in its defense before the European Commission and other antitrust enforcement agencies in connection with a worldwide high voltage power cables cartel investigation and related leniency applications;
  • Intel in its defense before the European Commission against an abuse of dominance charge tied to loyalty-inducing rebates and payments;
  • Daimler in its defense before the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice in relation to an FCPA investigation.

Languages

  • German
  • English
  • Dutch
  • French

Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • Germany, Rechtsanwalt
  • Belgium, Avocat

Education

  • State of Berlin, 2nd State Exam, Law 
  • University of Glasgow, LL.M., European Legal Studies; Postgraduate representative to the Student Representative Council 
  • Freie Universität Berlin, 1st State Exam, Law

Professional Activities

Member

  • Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht e.V.
  • American Bar Association

Author

  • “Corporate Acquisitions and Mergers in the European Union,” contributor (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2021, 2022 and 2023)
  • “Competition Compliance” contributor to chapter on EU law (Lexology, Getting The Deal Through, 2021, 2022 and 2023)
  • “Don’t Open Till Doomsday: FDI Screening in the EU—A Cure for a Covid-19-Struck Economy?,” Journal of Bankruptcy Law (August 18, 2020) (nominated for the 2021 Antitrust Writing Awards by Concurrences and George Washington University)