Riccardo Celli

Partner

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Riccardo Celli is Chair of O’Melveny’s European Antitrust and Competition Practice, the Regional Head of Litigation for Europe, and managing partner of the firm’s Brussels office. Riccardo joined O’Melveny in June 2004 when he founded the Brussels office.

Riccardo has almost 30 years of experience in counseling clients on all aspects of EU competition law with particular focus on merger control, unilateral conducts, cartel investigations, IP/antitrust interface and antitrust compliance.

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Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Chambers Europe Competition: EU (2020)
  • Recognized by Chambers Global Competition: EU (2020 & 2021)
  • Recognized by IFLR1000 as a “Leading Lawyer” in Competition (Belgium & EU) (2017); “Highly Regarded” in Competition (Belgium & EU) (2018-2021)
  • Named a Competition Expert (2018); Thought Leader (2019) by Who’s Who Legal

Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • Solicitor, Supreme Court of England and Wales (1994)
  • Italy, Avvocato (1986)

Education

  • University of Rome (La Sapienza), Law (1983)

Professional Activities

Member

  • Law Society of England and Wales
  • Brussels Bar
  • American Bar Association
  • International Bar Association
  • European Lawyers’ Union (UAE)

Recent Publications

  • “EC Merger Control,” ongoing contributor to chapter for Corporate Acquisitions and Mergers, published by Wolters Kluwer Law and Business
  • “The new UK regulatory regime: How will the reforms affect the international business world?” Competition Law Insight (May 2012)
  • “UK’s Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission to be merged to form the Competition and Markets Authority,” O'Melveny Client Alert (March 2012)
  • “Abuse of Dominance: An overview of recent modernisation developments in Europe,” Competition Law Insight (11 January 2011)
  • “Developments in International Cartel Enforcement and Leniency Agreements: 2008 to 2009,” Antitrust Review of the Americas 2010, published by Global Competition Review (2009)
  • “Towards a European Energy Community?” European Antitrust Review 2010, published by Global Competition Review (2009)
  • “A New Energy Era in the European Union,” European Antitrust Review 2009, published by Global Competition Review (2008)
  • “EU Energy,” GCR European Antitrust Review (2007-08)
  • “Multi-jurisdictional Merger Control,” PLC Cross-Border Competition Handbook (2004-07)
  • “Strengthened Cartel Enforcement in the EU,” IBA Competition Law International (2006)

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • “Inside the Intel Decision,” American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law 66th Annual Spring Meeting, Washington, DC (2018)
  • “Challenges and Opportunities for antitrust enforcement of FRAND-committed SEPs”, MLex Conference, Brussels (2015)
  • “A Single Merger Control Standard?” Concurrence and George Washington University Joint Conference, Washington (2014)
  • “The Intel EU General Court Judgment” GCR 6th Annual Law Leaders, Brussels (2014)
  • “Co-ordinating multi-jurisdictional merger filings,” PaRR Antitrust Forum, London (2013)
  • “Antitrust and Technology 2012,” Global Competition Review, London, UK (March 2012)
  • “Abuse of dominance enforcement in Asia Pacific region,” Joint International Bar Association and Korean Bar Association Competition Law Conference, Seoul, South Korea (2011)
  • “Understanding and Abuse of SMP and Dominant Position,” International Competition Law Conference, Delhi, India (2010)
  • “Section 2 and the EU, Too: Developments in the Analysis of Dominant Firms,” New York State Bar Association Annual Meeting 2010 (2010)
  • “Mergers,” International Bar Association’s 13th Annual Competition Conference (2009)
  • “The Impact of Foreign Antitrust Laws on Chinese Companies & Investors,” China International Trust and Investment Company (2008)
  • “Antitrust Panel Discussion,” Seventh Annual China Import and Export Enterprise Conference and Service Trading Symposium (2008)
  • “EU Antitrust Litigation and Class Actions: Where is Europe Going and What Can We Learn From the US Antitrust Experience,” Global Competition Review Conference (2008)

Events

  • Invited by the European Commission to participate as a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network’s 8th Annual Conference as well as to the 2010 Unilateral Conduct Workshop

Merger Control

  • Representing Honeywell International Inc. in obtaining merger control clearance in the EU, US, China and a number of other antitrust authorities around the world of its US $5.1 billion acquisition of the Elster Division of Melrose Industries plc.
  • Representing Honeywell International Inc. in securing the EC approval of Honeywell as the suitable buyer of the Sigma’s laboratory chemicals business, divested by Sigma as part of the EC approval of the Merck/Sigma transaction, and in obtaining merger control clearances from various national competition authorities.
  • Representing Norsk Hydro ASA in obtaining merger control clearance in the EU for the creation of a JV with Orkla ASA’s subsidiary SAPA Holding AB, operating in the soft alloy extrusion market.
  • Representing Honeywell International Inc. in obtaining merger control clearance in the EU for its acquisition of Intermec, a leading provider of mobile computing and handheld scanning technologies.
  • Representing Precision Castparts Corp. in obtaining merger control clearance in the EU for its $2.9 billion acquisition of NYSE-listed titanium alloy maker Timet.
  • Representing Norsk Hydro ASA in obtaining merger control clearances in the EU and US for the merger of its oil and gas activities with Statoil ASA -- a US$30 billion deal creating one of the largest offshore oil and gas operators in the world.
  • Representing Advanced Micro Devices in its deal with Advanced Technology Investment Co. and Mubadala Development Co. of Abu Dhabi to create Global Foundries.
  • Representing Norsk Hydro ASA in obtaining unconditional phase II clearance in relation to its US$1 billion sale of Kerling AS to UK-based INEOS, as well as in one of the very few “gun-jumping” investigations ever carried out by the EC.
  • Representing Honeywell International Inc. in securing merger control clearances for its US$1.4 billion public takeover of French listed firm Sperian Protection and its earlier US$2.4 billion acquisition of British industrial holding company Novar plc.
  • Successfully representing Honeywell International Inc. in various other acquisitions, including: Hand Held Products, Metrologic, Maxon Corp., UOP LLC, First Technology plc, Gardiner Groupe Europe, Zellweger Analytics, and RMG Regel + Messtechnik GmbH.
  • Advising on antitrust issues related to the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. Pte Ltd.’s consortium bid of £10.3 billion/US$18.5 billion for BAA Plc, the world’s largest airport operator.

Cartels

  • Obtaining the acquittal of Firma Léon van Parys, the European importer of “Bonita” bananas, of all charges in the EC banana cartel investigation in the Northern European markets following dawn raids in 2005 and extensive follow-up inquiries prior to the issuance of formal charges in mid 2007.
  • Representing a client in the GFU price fixing and market sharing case where the Commission closed the investigation against our client without imposing sanctions, while negotiating settlement with several other companies involved in the investigation.
  • Representing a client in the industrial gases price fixing and market sharing case, in which the Commission closed the investigation against our client without imposing sanctions, while proceeding to impose fines against other companies involved.
  • Representing a client in the PVC II price fixing case, in which the Commission closed the investigation without imposing any sanctions.
  • Representing a client in the UK freight surcharges (ferries) price fixing matter, in which the Commission closed the investigation without imposing sanctions.

Abuse of Dominance

  • Representing Advanced Micro Devices in its Article 102 complaint against Intel, in which the European Commission recently fined Intel a record €1.06 billion (US$1.44 billion) for its anti-competitive practices. This is the largest ever fine imposed by an antitrust regulator.
  • Representing Honeywell International Inc. in the successful defense of a complaint relating to alleged abuses of a dominant position.

Energy Sector Experience

  • In addition to the Statoil/Norsk Hydro merger listed above, Riccardo has been involved in a number of other energy sector cases, which is an area he knows well. Examples of energy experience include the advice in the Commission’s current cartel investigation relating to the Platt’s oil index, advice of JVs set up to build an LNG facility including the off-take solutions in Europe, contracts for LNG terminal services in Europe, the establishment and sale of power generators, long-term natural gas supply arrangements, and the Commission’s investigation into an alleged cartel for the sale of upstream Norwegian gas. He has also advised on a number of merger cases in the energy sector, including EU merger filings for Norsk Hydro/Wingas and ENI/Fortum Norway.

Alerts and Publications

Prompted by Sweeping Executive Order on Competition, New Leadership at US Antitrust Agencies to Launch Review of Merger Guidelines; Similar Initiatives in Europe and China May Signal Greater Convergence in Enforcement Across Jurisdictions

July 26, 2021

Unanimous Supreme Court Affirms Injunction Barring NCAA Rules that Limit Education-Related Compensation to Student Athletes

June 30, 2021

Supreme Court Holds That FTC Cannot Sue for Monetary Relief: AMG Capital Management v. FTC

April 26, 2021

European Commission Extends Reach Over Non-Reportable Transactions

April 6, 2021

Senator Klobuchar Unveils Broad New Proposed Antitrust Legislation

February 8, 2021

FTC Adjusts New 2021 HSR Reporting Thresholds Downward

February 3, 2021

EU Commission Publishes Text of EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment

January 27, 2021

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division Brings First-Ever Criminal No-Poach Case

January 22, 2021

Germany Strengthens Antitrust Enforcement Powers to Rein in Big Tech

January 19, 2021

China Expands National Security Review of Foreign Investments

January 12, 2021

European Commission Plan to Reform Europe’s Digital Space - Part 2 - Draft Digital Services Act

December 23, 2020

European Commission Plan to Reform Europe’s Digital Space - Part 1 - Draft Digital Markets Act

December 21, 2020

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division Brings First-Ever Criminal Labor Market Collusion Case

December 17, 2020

New Guidelines Clarify When Antitrust Division Will Consider Using Arbitration

December 1, 2020

The UK National Security and Investment Bill: Strengthening scrutiny of investment in the UK and introducing the UK’s first mandatory notification regime

November 20, 2020

China Publishes “Unreliable Entities” Rules Targeting Foreign Enterprises

September 22, 2020

DOJ Issues Letter Encouraging IEEE to Change Policy on Standard Essential Patents

September 18, 2020

Hong Kong Competition Tribunal Approves First Cartel Settlement

August 13, 2020

Congress Reauthorizes ACPERA and Repeals Sunset Provision

July 17, 2020

DOJ’s Prosecution of Generic Drug Companies Continues as it Announces Price-Fixing Charges Against Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

July 2, 2020

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority Targets Big Tech

July 2, 2020

DOJ and FTC Issue New Vertical Merger Guidelines

July 1, 2020

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office Calls for the EU Court of Justice’s Guidance on Important Patent Licensing Issues

June 25, 2020

Germany’s Supreme Court Sides with National Antitrust Enforcer in Facebook Abuse of Dominance Case

June 23, 2020

European Commission Turns to Distortive Effects of Foreign State Ownership and State Financing in the Internal Market

June 17, 2020

May Price Gouging Update

June 4, 2020

Updates on Recent US Merger Control Developments - May 2020

May 22, 2020

New Proposed Legislation in California Increases Antitrust Scrutiny in M&A and Other Activities in the Healthcare Industry

May 19, 2020

COVID-19 Antitrust M&A Considerations

May 7, 2020

Collusion in the Healthcare Industry: DOJ Charges Oncology Group for its Participation in a Criminal Antitrust Conspiracy

May 6, 2020

Price Gouging Update—April 2020

April 30, 2020

Gun-Jumping Concerns for Pending Transactions When There Is No Such Thing as “Ordinary Course of Business”

April 27, 2020

The Failing Firm Merger Defense in Times of Economic Turmoil: Past Lessons and the COVID-19 Crisis

April 23, 2020

Antitrust Agencies Watch for Labor Market Collusion in the Healthcare Industry

April 20, 2020

DOJ and FTC on Alert for Anticompetitive Conduct in Labor Markets for COVID-19 Essential Workers

April 15, 2020

Nationwide Shortages Open New Frontiers in Fight Against COVID-19-Related Price Gouging

April 14, 2020

Hong Kong Competition Commission Consults on Proposed Commitments Offered by Online Travel Agents to Remove Parity Clauses from Agreements with Accommodation Providers

April 9, 2020

China Adopts Antitrust Enforcement Policy to Fight COVID-19 and Spur Economic Recovery

April 8, 2020

Antitrust Implications of the President’s Invocation of the Defense Production Act

April 2, 2020

Department of Health and Human Services Triggers Price Gouging and Hoarding Provisions of Defense Production Act

April 1, 2020

Hong Kong Competition Commission Issues Statement on the Application of the Competition Rules to Cooperation Agreements Between Companies Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 30, 2020

Competitor Collaborations and Communications in Time of Crisis: Practical Guidance

March 26, 2020

Antitrust Agencies Provide Guidance for Competitor Collaborations in Healthcare Sector as COVID-19 Outbreak Deepens

March 25, 2020

European Antitrust in the Time of COVID-19

March 25, 2020

Flexibility of EU State Aid Rules in Response to COVID-19 Impact

March 23, 2020

Temporary Merger Control Measures in the EU, US, and China in Response to COVID-19

March 18, 2020

The European Commission Proposes Artificial Intelligence Regulations That Could Reach Businesses Worldwide

March 13, 2020

In the News

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