Antitrust (Competition) Law
“A major force in antitrust and competition,” asialaw Profiles.
“Has a profound knowledge of competition law, market trends and enforcement practices,” The Legal 500 EMEA.
Antitrust (Competition) Law
Our experience includes the implementation of multi-billion dollar projects, participation in antitrust (competition) law making and issuance of the first Kazakhstan scientific legal monograph on antitrust (competition) law in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Our antitrust team consists of the most competent experts on antitrust (competition) law, including the former vice chairman of the Committee for Protection of Competition of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Industry and Trade (antitrust authority of the Republic of Kazakhstan).
Year after year, our antitrust (competition) practice and lawyers are recognized by various international legal guides, including Chambers Global, Who is Who Legal, The Legal 500 and asialaw Profiles, as the best in Kazakhstan.
Managing Partner Aidyn Bikebayev was ranked by Who’s Who Legal as the only acknowledged expert in the field of Kazakhstan antitrust regulation for several years. Partner Amir Begdesenov was included into the rating of Who's Who Legal Competition: Future Leaders - Partners
We actively participate in numerous organizations and related activities, such as:
Interdepartmental Commission for Legislative Drafting formed by the Kazakhstan Government.
Conciliation Commission of the Committee for Regulation of Natural Monopolies, Protection of Competition and Consumer Rights under the Kazakhstan Ministry of National Economy.
Council for Protection of Competition formed by the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Competition Promotion in the CIS Countries, a non-commercial partnership.
Kazakhstan Bar Association.
Board of the Antitrust Alliance.
We have represented our clients in nearly all landmark antitrust investigations.
All the foregoing allows us to stay up-to-date with current antitrust law enforcement practice.
- Representing Clients in courts of all instances
- Supporting Clients in private antitrust lawsuits
- Participating in conciliation commissions as an independent expert or attorney of an investigation target
- Representing clients in the course of investigations
- Representing clients (who seek antitrust consent and/or undergo antitrust probe) before antitrust authorities
- Drafting antitrust applications/notifications and representing Clients in the course of such applications/notifications processing
- Reviewing transactions from the perspective of antitrust application/notification requirements
- Structuring transactions allowing to dispense with antitrust consents
- Conducting antitrust audits
- Making recommendations on the implementation of antitrust risk mitigation strategies
- Negotiating ‘admissible’ agreements with antitrust authorities in accordance with the procedure set forth in Article 171 of the Entrepreneurial Code
- Reviewing contracts, policies, practices and other documents with regard to their compliance with antitrust (competition) law
- Ensuring antitrust compliance
- Providing legal support to leading companies in various sectors of economy (e.g. tobacco production, mobile communications, power generation, pharmaceutics, manufacturing of healthcare and personal/occupational/industrial hygiene products, etc.) with regard to antitrust compliance
- Preparing a legal opinion and providing advice on a discount program for the distributors of a global company dominating on essential commodities markets worldwide for the avoidance of allegations of anti-competitive restrictions
- Advising a leading mobile operator in connection with the execution of an agreement with their competitor on 4G/LTE network sharing (including legal support in the course of negotiations, revision of the agreement draft versions, justification of the agreement execution for antitrust purposes, and negotiation with the antitrust regulator as prescribed by Article 171 of the Entrepreneurial Code)
- Advising a major telecom company on the inclusion thereof into the Register of Dominants
- Advising one of the world's biggest dairy companies on the issues connected with the coercion to sign a supply contract and the risks associated with the refusal to sign such contract which may be qualified by the Antitrust Authority as an abuse of dominance
- Rendering legal advice and assistance to a number of international law firms with regard to antitrust compliance of their clients' transactions with distributors and retailers, either inside or outside Kazakhstan, which can result in market foreclosure in Kazakhstan
- Advising the owner of a Kazakhstan cement plant on the compliance of its new distribution and pricing system with Kazakhstan antitrust law; preparing reports to the Antitrust Authority, on behalf of the Client, regarding anti-competitive practices on the part of other market undertakings
- Issuing a legal opinion on the legitimacy of claims of the Antitrust Authority regarding the abuse of a dominant position through the impairment of customers' legitimate rights as a result of roaming service disconnection of advance/credit system subscribers when their balances are below the roaming threshold set by a mobile operator (a potential penalty was estimated as KZT11,595,829,445)
- Providing legal support to major natural monopolies and dominants in the Atyrau Oblast and Nur-Sultan City in connection with the acquisition of assets and interests in other entities
- Drafting a pricing policy in compliance with Kazakhstan antitrust law for a cement producer holding a dominant position in the cement market across various regions of Kazakhstan
- Drafting an application and obtaining consent to economic concentration as a result of the merger of two global oil service leaders creating the second biggest oil service provider in the world
- Drafting an application and obtaining consent to economic concentration as a result of the merger of two world's biggest dairy companies
- Drafting an application for economic concentration resulting from the acquisition of 100% shares in an oil company
- Drafting an application and obtaining consent to economic concentration resulting from the acquisition of a leading Kazakhstan transport company
- Drafting an application and obtaining consent to economic concentration as a result of the acquisition of a dealership business from a global leader in the manufacturing of hoisting and handling equipment (we acted for the benefit of a leading international law firm)
- Drafting an application and obtaining consent to economic concentration as a result of changes in the ownership structure of a Big 4 firm (we acted for the benefit of a leading international law firm, a member of the Magic Circle)
- Drafting an application and obtaining consent to economic concentration resulting from the acquisition of shares in a global pharmaceutical leader (we acted for the benefit of a leading international law firm)
- Drafting an application and obtaining consent to economic concentration resulting from the acquisition of shares in a Russian manufacturer of perfumes and cosmetics (we acted for the benefit of a global leader on the market of food and household products)
- Drafting an application and obtaining consent of the Antitrust Authority to a transaction for the acquisition of shares in a foreign company acting as a sole member of a major Kazakhstan transportation holding, the owner of a substantial (by Kazakhstan standards) railway wagon pool
- Drafting an application and obtaining consent of the Antitrust Authority to a transaction for the acquisition of a 100% interest in a major Kazakhstan metallurgic plant owner (we acted for the benefit of a large Singaporean holding)
- Representing the largest Kazakhstan mining and metallurgical company (as the target of investigation) in front of a conciliation commission of the Antitrust Authority on charges of cartel agreement
- Participating (as an independent expert) in a conciliation commission of the Antitrust Authority on the motion of a major Kazakhstan petroleum products retail and wholesale trader
- Representing and defending a major non-alcoholic beverages producer in connection with the Antitrust Authority's allegations of anticompetitive agreement (as a result, the Client avoided an over US$51 million penalty)
- Representing a major food producer in connection with pretrial resolution of a dispute with the Kazakhstan Antitrust Authority
- Seeking judicial annulment of antitrust authority's orders for antimonopoly corrective actions and remittance of monopoly income to the budget (over 23 million US dollars)
- Representing a major power company in the court of original jurisdiction in connection with their appeal against anticompetitive and abuse allegations from the Antitrust Authority (as a result, over 20 million US dollars penalty assessment was annulled)
- Representing a subsidiary of the world's biggest dairy company in connection with their appeal against the findings of anticompetitive concerted practice investigation. In the course of the project implementation, SZP team not only put forward solid arguments based on antitrust provisions, but also formulated the behaviour of the respective departments of the Client in their communications with antitrust authorities, and drafted/executed relevant documentation
- Representing one of the biggest domestic vegetable oil producers in connection with their appeal against the findings of antitrust investigation based on the information underpinning their allegations of anticompetitive concerted practices
- Representing a leader of the Kazakhstan fuel and lubricants market in connection with their appeal against abuse allegations from the Antitrust Authority and invalidation of the monopoly revenue assessment in the amount of approximately 70 mln US dollars
- Advising, on a regular basis, a gas station network owner (holding a dominant position in the domestic petroleum retail market) with regard to the allegations of an abuse of their dominant position and anticompetitive concerted practices due to fuel price increase in some regions of Kazakhstan
- Appealing against unlawful actions of antitrust authorities trying to include our Client into the Register of Dominants
- Representing a major domestic company owning food production facilities in court in connection with its exclusion from the state register of companies occupying dominant position within merchant borders of certain Kazakhstan regions
- Representing a major Kazakhstan manufacturer in connection with their dispute with a natural monopoly (listed on the Kazakhstan Register) over applied tariffs
- Challenging in the court of original jurisdiction the findings of antitrust investigation of alleged abuse by a major petroleum retailer of its dominant position in the petroleum retail market across nearly all Kazakhstan regions (a potential administrative penalty was estimated as KZT1,171,474,167)
- Challenging in administrative proceedings the findings of a preliminary investigation of alleged antitrust offence and vertical anticompetitive agreement by a company dominating in the tea wholesale market of Kazakhstan (a potential administrative penalty was estimated as KZT18,156,178)
- Issuing an expert opinion on antitrust law issues requested by the Kazakhstan Supreme Court in connection with arbitration between international oil service companies (we acted for the benefit of the largest Singaporean law firm)