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Axel Gutermuth focuses on a wide range of European, German and global competition law issues. Having practiced in Brussels for more than 20 years, Axel was nominated in 2021 for the GCR Award in the global category “Antitrust Lawyer of the Year”.

Axel frequently represents clients in merger control proceedings before the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office and coordinates merger filings worldwide. He has represented clients in high profile merger cases that tested novel theories of harm and remedies, such as Google/Fitbit and Bayer/Monsanto—two cases that received the GCR Awards for Merger Control Matters of the Year in Europe in 2021 and 2019. In parallel with his merger control work, Axel frequently advises on Foreign Direct Investment aspects and coordinates national FDI clearance procedures.

Axel represents and assists clients in dawn raids and in cartel and internal compliance investigations. Moreover, Axel regularly advises clients on the compliance of joint ventures, cooperation agreements, information exchange, and other business practices with Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the specific rules on cooperation in distribution, research and development, technology transfer, and production. Axel has also been involved in appeals to Court of Justice of the European Union.

Axel has worked for clients in various industries, including pharma, chemical, financial services, energy, life science, healthcare, technology, metals, tobacco, defense and telecommunications/media. A significant part of his current work involves antitrust issues relating to the digital economy, including advice on the Digital Markets Act. Axel is listed as a leading practitioner in all major attorney rating publications. He frequently speaks at conferences and publishes articles on competition law.


  • Bristol-Myers Squibb in its $4.1 billion acquisition of Turning Point Therapeutics.
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. in its $17.4 billion acquisition of PPD Inc., a leading global provider of clinical research services. The transaction was reviewed and received unconditional clearances from competition and FDI authorities in the U.S., the EU and more than a dozen other jurisdictions worldwide.
  • Bertelsmann in international merger control and FDI filings regarding its acquisition of publishing house Simon & Schuster.
  • Fitbit in EU and other ex-U.S. merger filings regarding its acquisition by Google, successfully concluding in Europe with data remedies after a Phase 2 review. The transaction won the 2021 GCR Award for Merger Control Matter of the Year Europe.
  • AbbVie in EU and global merger filings regarding its $63 billion acquisition of Allergan (co-counsel to AbbVie).
  • Monsanto in EU and other ex-U.S. merger clearances regarding the acquisition of Monsanto by Bayer. The transaction won the 2019 GCR Awards for Global Antitrust Matter of the Year and Merger Control Matter of the Year-Europe.
  • Pfizer in relation to its $12.7 billion joint venture with GSK, combining the parties' consumer health businesses, before the German FCO.
  • Boston Scientific in relation to its $4.2 billion acquisition of BTG plc., before the German FCO and other competition authorities worldwide.
  • Carestream Health, Inc. in global merger control proceedings regarding the sale of its healthcare information systems (HCIS) business to Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology.
  • BP in global merger control aspects regarding its joint venture with Arclight Capital Partners to acquire Thorntons, a leading privately owned gasoline and convenience store chain with locations in the Midwest and Florida.
  • Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) in obtaining worldwide merger clearances for the creation of a joint venture with Exxon-Mobil to build and operate a multi-billion dollar petrochemical plant producing ethylene and ethylene derivatives.
  • Cisco Systems, Inc. in its $1.9 billion acquisition of cloud-based unified communications provider BroadSoft, Inc.—German merger filing and global coordination.
  • Cisco in its $3.7 billion acquisition of AppDynamics Inc. - German merger filing.
  • General Electric in a transaction combining GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes to create a new publicly traded company owned 62.5% by GE with $23 billion in combined revenue. Co-lead counsel for the EU filing that ended with an unconditional clearance.
  • Komatsu Ltd. in international merger filings regarding its $2.9 billion agreement to acquire mining equipment company, Joy Global.
  • General Electric in its $10.6 billion acquisition of the Energy Business of Alstom. Co-lead counsel for European and worldwide merger clearances.
  • Visa Inc. in its acquisition of Visa Europe. International merger clearances.
  • Boston Scientific in its acquisition of American Medical Systems' urology portfolio, lead on German merger filing.
  • General Electric in its $1.775 billion acquisition of Milestone Aviation Group, a Dublin-based helicopter lessor. Lead counsel in obtaining antitrust clearance in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Cisco in EU and international merger clearances regarding the company's $5 billion acquisition of NDS Group Ltd. and $2.7 billion acquisition of Sourcefire, Inc.
  • General Electric in EU and international multiple merger control proceedings regarding its $3.3 billion acquisition of Lufkin Industries, Inc. and its $3 billion acquisition of Dresser, Inc.
  • Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) in its $640 million joint venture with SK Global Chemicals for the manufacture of high-performance polyethylene products.
  • Bucyrus International, Inc. in EU merger control proceedings and coordinating multiple other filings in Caterpillar's $8.6 billion acquisition of Bucyrus.
  • Finmeccanica SpA in securing German merger clearance for $5.2 billion acquisition of DRS Technologies and coordination of international filings.
  • Bucyrus International Inc. in coordinating international merger filings in its $1.3 billion acquisition of Terex Corporation's mining equipment business.
  • Pharmaceutical company in securing German merger clearance for the client's $2.9 billion merger.
  • Versus Investment Partners (f/k/a Uni-World Capital) in the sale of VanDeMark Chemical Inc., one of the world's largest, independent manufacturers of phosgene and phosgene derivatives, to Comvest Investment Partners.


Chambers Europe
Competition/European Law — Belgium (2018-2024)
"Up and Comer" Competition/European Law — Belgium (2017)
Chambers Global
"Foreign Expertise" Competition/European Law — Belgium (2012-2024)
"Foreign Expertise in Germany" Competition/European Law — Belgium (2018-2021)
"Foreign Expert Based Abroad" Corporate/M&A: Competition — Germany (2013-2017)
Best Lawyers in Belgium
Competition/Antitrust Law (2019-2023)



  • LL.M., New York University School of Law, 1999
  • German Bar Exam (Assessorexamen), Karlsruhe, Germany, 1998
  • German Law School Exam, Germany, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg, 1996
  • Certificate of Political Sciences, University of Aix-en-Provence, France, 1993


  • Brussels, Belgium (associate member)
  • New York
  • German Attorney, authorized to represent before all German Courts (except for the Federal Court of Justice in civil matters) and before the courts of the European Union.


  • Member, Antitrust Lawyers Association for Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht)


  • German
  • English
  • French