18 December 2023

RBB named elite practice by GCR

RBB is delighted to once again be named as an elite economics practice by Global Competition Review (GCR) in their 2024 listing.

RBB Economics now has over 200 competition-focused economists, making it the largest specialised independent economics consultancy in Europe. Not just a European outfit, though, it has an increasingly global outlook with an office count of 14 and a presence in Europe, Africa, Oceania and now Asia, following its opening of a new branch in Singapore in August 2023. RBB Economics also opened in Milan, Oslo and Sydney during 2023.

At the head of the wider practice is managing partner Adrian Majumdar, who brings nearly three decades of experience to the table and was a former chief economist at the UK’s Office of Fair Trading, which preceded the Competition and Markets Authority. Who’s Who Legal: Competition counts him as one of a select few Global Elite Thought Leaders. In total, the firm has 25 nominees in those listingswhich reflects the firm’s depth and quality amongst its senior ranks. Simon Bishop, former leader of the practice, retired in April 2023.

RBB Economics claims to have advised on more than a third of EU Phase II mergers in the last five years. A notable recent highlight saw it help Norsk Hydro secure unconditional approval from the European Commission for its acquisition of Alumetal following an in-depth probe. The firm also advised French media company Vivendi in its acquisition of Lagardère, which was conditionally approved by the commission after a Phase II investigation.

In one of its highest-profile matters, RBB Economics advised US genetic testing company Illumina in its takeover of cancer test-maker Grail. In July 2023, the commission issued a record €432 million gun-jumping penalty against Illumina for unlawfully closing its acquisition before the end of its Phase II probe. Illumina has appealed against the penalty and continues to challenge the agency’s jurisdiction to review and subsequently unwind the deal under Article 22 of the EU merger regulation.

Turning to investigations, the firm advised Swedish forestry cooperative Södra in an EU antitrust probe in the wood pulp and water infrastructure sectors. After raiding several companies in both sectors, including Södra, the commission discontinued the investigation due to a lack of evidence.

The firm says its litigation practice is growing rapidly and there’s plenty of evidence to back that up. It advises Google in multiple appeals against commission decisions; represents Scania and Nordzucker in follow-on damages litigation arising from the EU trucks and sugar cartels, respectively; and supports K-Line in litigation filed by Volkswagen against companies in the roll-on, roll-off shipping cartel.

GCR 100 2024

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