Global antitrust and competition trends for 2017

Publication | March 2017
Global antitrust and competition trends for 2017

In this global antitrust and competition review for 2017, we identify significant trends and developments that your business needs to be aware of in three areas: cartels and investigations; litigation and mergers.

Cartels and investigations

We focus on the increasingly complex decision for companies who discover internal evidence of behavior which might breach antitrust rules as to whether to apply for leniency. For companies, the message is that careful consideration of an array of factors is required before the decision is taken to blow the whistle.


We look at the continued growth of antitrust litigation around the world and the trend for such litigation to be increasingly coordinated across multiple jurisdictions. We expect to see the favourability of funding rules taking on increasing significance for claimants.


Political events this year have seen the theme of national protectionism rise up the agenda, but to what extent was national interest ever really detached from merger control reviews? We look into the position in a number of leading jurisdictions and consider what this means for dealmakers heading into 2017 and beyond.

Our recent experience

Norton Rose Fulbright’s antitrust and competition practice has worked extensively with our clients around the world in 2016 helping to manage antitrust risk.

We advised on 4 cartels and investigations with global impacts and secured immunity from sanctions for several businesses at a national level; we were called upon to act in 7 dawn raids, using our in-depth knowledge of digital forensic investigations to assist clients in Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific; we worked on 20 major non-cartel cases using our sector expertise to achieve successful outcomes for our clients in industries ranging from car hire in Canada to TV broadcasting in Hong Kong; our litigators were busier than ever, advising on 32 on-going cases including 14 matters where we acted as leading or coordinating counsel in both national and cross-border disputes; and we helped secure clearance on 16 M&A deals as standalone antitrust counsel and acted on 15 deals requiring indepth or second phase reviews. Of our group of 150 lawyers, 10 per cent have first-hand experience of working at a senior level within competition authorities.

Our message for 2017 is to expect the unexpected. Businesses are facing unprecedented levels of scrutiny from antitrust regulators around the world. We have developed a global antitrust risk map to help you manage your risk around the world – a comparative guide to antitrust risk in over 140 countries.

If you would like to know any more about these trends and their implications for your business, we would be happy to discuss this with you and your colleagues.

Global antitrust and competition 

Awards & accolades

We are ranked by Global Competition Review as one of the top 25 competition practices of the Global Elite (ranked number 12).  The Global Elite is part of GCR100, an annual guide to the most trusted firms for antitrust work.  The guide features firms from all major regions around the world.

“While our country chapters recognise the best firms in each individual jurisdiction, the Global Elite reflects how practices perform on a bigger stage. Our assessment of the top 25 competition practices in the world calls on firms to supply us with detailed information about the work they have done over the past year, as well as quantitative information about the size and composition of their group. We continue to refine our focus on only the most difficult, contentious antitrust work – the sticky deals, hard-fought lawsuits, misconduct accusations and more – that best captures the quality of a competition practice. We have used this information to update and revise the Global Elite, along with our three rankings specific to the kinds of work on which antitrust practices centre: mergers, cartels and litigation. We believe our research results in the definitive list of the world’s best antitrust practices, based on their ability and real-time performance.

“Top 25 competition practices of the Global Elite”
Global Competition Review

We hope that the GCR 100 continues to act as a practical resource for in-house counsel or law firms looking to refer work or build contacts, but also inspires thought about what really makes an antitrust practice shine.”

Global antitrust and competition trends for 2017 

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