Niels Christian Ersbøll

Niels Christian Ersbøll

Partner

Niels Christian Ersbøll is a partner in the EU antitrust practice and head of the Brussels office. He advises clients on EU competition law in relation to merger control, cartels and restrictive practices, and abuse of dominance. He has more two decades’ experience.

He has assisted clients in obtaining merger control clearance on a number of significant transactions before the European Commission and coordinating submissions to competition authorities worldwide for clients such as Pfizer, Boston Scientific and AT&T. He has significant experience assessing filing requirements, devising strategy, dealing with review and designing and negotiating remedies.

In relation to cartels, Mr. Ersbøll has successfully acted for companies seeking leniency (immunity as well as fine reductions) before the European Commission, he has appeared before the EU General Court on appeal of European Commission decisions, and is advising on follow-on damage claims. Recently, Mr. Ersbøll also has represented individual directors in cartel proceedings, and acted for a whistle blower. Mr. Ersbøll also has significant experience helping clients with designing and implementing compliance measures and conducting internal investigations and audits.

Outside investigations related work, Mr. Ersbøll regularly advises clients in relation to, for example, distribution and pricing arrangements, parallel trade, and various forms of cooperation agreements and strategic alliances between competitors. He acts for clients in many industries, and has particular experience within the life sciences, media and the transport & logistics sectors.

As a reflection of his deep understanding of the industry, since the declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr. Ersbøll has also been working extensively with the vaccine industry to advise on a multitude of aspects of vaccine and antiviral procurement by governments and international organisations including the EU, the African Union, COVAX and CARICOM.

Experience

  • Pfizer on global merger control clearances for its $6.7 billion acquisition of Arena Pharmaceuticals.
  • Boston Scientific in its $295 million acquisition of the remaining interest of Farapulse.
  • Boston Scientific in obtaining merger control and foreign investment clearances in relation to its proposed acquisition of Baylis Medical Company Inc.
  • Boston Scientific in obtaining merger control in relation to acquisition of Preventice Solutions, Inc.
  • Pfizer on merger control aspects of its divestment of Meridian Medical Technologies.
  • Boston Scientific in relation to its pending $1.07 billion acquisition of Lumenis before multiple competition authorities worldwide.
  • Pfizer in relation to the spin-off and combination with Mylan NV of Pfizer's established medicines division Upjohn, to form Viatris a company with combined revenues of $20 billion, securing merger control clearances from the European Commission and worldwide ex-US jurisdictions.
  • Pfizer in relation to its $12.7 billion joint venture with GSK, combining the parties' consumer health businesses, before the European Commission and in relation to filings worldwide.
  • AT&T in setting up an international distribution joint venture between AT&T affiliate Warner Bros. and Universal for the companies' home entertainment business, securing European Commission clearance.
  • AT&T in the sale of its majority stake in Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (CME), securing European Commission clearance.
  • Boston Scientific in relation to its $4.2 billion acquisition of BTG plc., before multiple competition authorities worldwide.
  • AT&T in relation to its acquisition of AppNexus, a leading global advertising marketplace that provides enterprise technology products for digital advertising, serving publishers, agencies and marketers. Outside the US, the transaction was reviewed and cleared in Austria, Germany and Colombia.
  • AT&T in relation to its acquisition of Time Warner, acting for AT&T before the European Commission and in relation to filings worldwide.
  • Boston Scientific Corporation in its $435 million acquisition of Symetis, a Swiss structural heart company focused on minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve implantation devices.
  • General Electric (GE) in its acquisition of ALSTOM's energy business, acting for GE before the European Commission and in relation to filings worldwide.
  • Boston Scientific in its acquisition of American Medical Systems' urology portfolio, lead on coordinating filings outside the US.
  • Sanyo in the acquisition by Sanyo of Panasonic, representing Sanyo before the European Commission, including notification and negotiation of remedies and clearance, and coordinating multiple international filings.
  • Pfizer in its acquisition of animal health businesses from Schering-Plough. Advised on Pfizer's approval as purchaser under EC Commitments, referral of jurisdiction from several Member States to the European Commission, and notification and clearance by the European Commission.
  • Kraft in its acquisition of Danone Biscuits. Heavily involved in the notification, negotiation of commitments, and clearance from the EU. Handling multiple national filings.
  • Sea Invest in relation to its acquisition of a controlling stake in a large terminal operator in the port of Rotterdam (EMO-EKOM), acting before the European Commission in its Phase II investigation.
  • Boston Scientific in its acquisition of Guidant. Heavily involved in the notification and negotiation of commitments and clearance from the EU. Advising on and coordinating the notification and clearance in multiple national jurisdictions worldwide.
  • NBC Universal in its establishment of a joint venture with NewsCorp/Fox, including subsequent expansion of the joint venture. Filings and obtaining clearance from the European Commission.
  • GE Energy and Hitachi in their establishment of a strategic alliance in the field of nuclear energy. Advising on and coordinating notification and clearance in multiple national jurisdictions worldwide.
  • Cisco in its acquisition of Scientific-Atlanta. Assisting in the notification to the EU, in relation to the referral process from Member States to the European Commission, and in obtaining clearance in the EU.

Perspectives

UK & EU Annual Life Sciences Conference
Cartel Enforcement in the US and EU: Opportunities and Beartraps
Arnold & Porter Webinar
European Commission Proposes a New Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe
Bioslice Blog
Competition Law in Life Sciences Seminar
Arnold & Porter Antitrust/Competition Seminar, Zürich, Switzerland
Navigating the Tensions Between Leniency Cooperation and the Risk of Private Follow-On Damage Claims in Cartel Cases (pdf)
The International Comparative Legal Guide to Cartels & Leniency 2019 published by Global Legal Group
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Recognition

Legal 500 UK
EU and Competition (2023)
Whos' Who Legal
Competition (2018–2020, 2022)
Thought Leaders—Competition (2022)
Chambers Europe
Competition/European Law (Belgium) (2020–2022)
"Up and Coming"—Competition/European Law (Belgium) (2018–2019)
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Credentials

Education
  • Socrates Deploma, European Law, University of Brussels (ULB), 2000
  • MA, Copenhagen University, 2000
  • MB, Copenhagen University, 1998
  • Erasmus Diploma, European Law, University of Leuven (KUL), Belgium, 1999
Admissions
  • Brussels, Belgium (associate member, Registered European Lawyer)
  • Denmark (Advokat - Danish Bar & Law Society)
Languages
  • Danish
  • English
  • French
Overview

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