Overview

Kris Van Hove focuses on EU and national competition law, as well as regulatory law.

He specialises in competition law, with particular expertise in cartels, merger control, dominant market positions, distribution and technology transfer.

Kris also specialises in regulatory matters in the area of aviation law.

Kris’s practice covers a wide variety of sectors, including financial services, car parts, aviation, consumer products, basic industries, steel, energy, chemicals, construction equipment, building materials, electronics, music, and information and communications technology. He handles notifications and investigations as well as litigation before the EU and national courts.

Kris’s notable experience includes the appeal to the EU General Court which led to the annulment of the Commission in CISAC.

Kris has extensive experience in representing clients in cartel defence cases, including leniency and settlement proceedings and litigation. He led the team that assisted one of the parties in the Commission’s first-ever direct settlement case (DRAM). Since then, he has been involved in several other settlement procedures (such as Automotive Bearings) and standard procedures (such as Smart Card Chips).

Kris acted as counsel for Japan Airlines in the proceeding before the EU General Court which overturned the Commission’s 2010 Air Freight decision and annulled Japan Airlines’ €35.7 million fine. He was part of the team that received the Global Competition Review Matter of the Year award in 2016 for his involvement in the case, which also won the American Lawyer’s Global Dispute of the Year: International Litigation award for 2016. In March 2022, Kris obtained a further positive outcome for Japan Airlines when the EU General Court partially annulled a second Commission decision in the same case and substantially reduced the fine imposed.

In 2017, Global Competition Review 100 noted Kris as one of “the firm’s lawyers [who] excel in European court appeals stemming from DG Comp decisions”. He was named as one of 20 of the world’s foremost competition practitioners by Who’s Who Legal for Competition – Thought Leaders for 2018 and again for 2019. According to Who’s Who Legal 2020: Kris “is highlighted as ‘an excellent competition lawyer who ranks among the best’.” Chambers Global 2021 describes him as "an excellent competition lawyer" while Who’s Who Legal for Competition 2021 comments that Kris “earns a plethora of positive endorsements for his in-depth expertise in technology and cartel matters”.

He regularly lectures and writes on competition law matters.

Languages

Dutch, English, French

Recommendations

  • Chambers Global and Chambers Europe for Competition Law
  • Chambers Europe – ‘Leaders In Their Field’ (Competition/European Law)
  • Legal 500 for Competition Law
  • GCR100 for Competition Law
  • Who’s Who Legal for Competition 2020, 2021 and 2022
  • Who’s Who Legal for Competition – Thought Leader 2018 and 2019
  • IFLR1000 – Leading Lawyer (EU Competition)
  • Best Lawyers – Competition/Antitrust Law
  • Expert Guides – Competition and Antitrust 

Education

  • Duke University, USA, LL.M., 1992
  • Sorbonne (Paris II), Master of European Law, 1990
  • University of Leuven, Law Degree, 1989

Publications

A New Landscape for Digital Antitrust in Europe: Walking the Ever-narrowing Line Between Competition on the Merits and Anti-competitive Conduct”, Yearbook of the Finnish Competition Law Association, September 2022

Revising the Competition Law Rulebook for Digital Markets in Europe: an Update”, Competition Policy International, March 2022

Substantial contributor to Van Bael & Bellis, “Competition Law of the European Union”, sixth edition, Kluwer, 2021 (the standard work of reference in the field of EU competition law)

“Revising the Competition Law Rulebook for Digital Markets in Europe: A Delicate Balancing Act”, Competition Policy International, October 2020

The Challenges to Achieving Certainty for Civil Antitrust Defendants in the EU”, Union Des Avocats Européens, XII Antitrust Between EU Law and National Law, Bruylant, 2017

Hybrid settlement cases: The challenges faced by non-settling parties and the European Commission”, Competition Law Insight, March 2016

The Commission’s direct settlement procedure: more than meets the eye”, Competition Law Insight, June 2010

Commission on track with direct settlements”, Competition Law360, May 2010

Events

Kris Van Hove’s speaking engagements include the following:

  • Balancing incentives in leniency applications (panel moderator, ICN, Foz do Iguaçu, October 2019)
  • Cartel enforcement in the EU: recent developments (Keidanren, June 2019)
  • Intelligence-gathering through leniency: the role of the leniency applicant (panel moderator, ICN, Tel Aviv, October 2018)
  • Bid-rigging and deterrence under EU law (ICN, Ottawa, 2017)
  • Private Enforcement and damages compensation after Directive 2014/104/EU – A practitioner’s perspective (Treviso, May 2016)
  • Cartel settlements – Lessons learnt from recent settled decisions (IBC Legal, Brussels, February 2016)
  • Cartel settlements as a case resolution mechanism – The EU experience (ICN, Cartagena, October 2015)
  • Antitrust damages actions – An EU perspective (Keidanren, October 2014)
  • Should jurisdictions seek to allocate cases to prevent double penalisation? (ICN, Taipei, October 2014)
  • EU Cartel Law – Compliance (Keidanren, Tokyo, November 2012)
  • EU and Belgian Cartel Law (IBJ, Brussels, November 2011)
  • The Commission’s current cartel enforcement policy (ULB, Brussels, November 2010)
  • New trends in cartel enforcement in Europe (Tokyo, June 2010)
  • Cartel Enforcement: Recent and future developments (Brussels Bar Antitrust Conference, panel chairman, Brussels, November 2009)
  • Merger control in a global economy (Tokyo, February 2009)
  • Competition in the aviation sector: a unique story (Treviso, May 2008)

Bar Admission

Brussels

Expertise

Notable assignments

  • The Legal 500

    Representing CISAC, as well as eight individual copyright management societies, in their appeal to the EU General Court which led to the annulment of the European Commission’s decision which had found CISAC and its European members to have engaged in concerted practices in violation of EU competition law.

  • The Legal 500

    Representing Japan Airlines, Japan’s largest flag carrier, in the cartel proceeding initiated by the European Commission against more than 20 airlines in the airfreight sector and obtaining the annulment by the EU General Court of the €35.7 million fine imposed on Japan Airlines. This case received the Global Competition Review Matter of the Year award in 2016 and also won the American Lawyer’s Global Dispute of the Year: International Litigation award for 2016. Kris is also acting as coordinating counsel in defending Japan Airlines in follow-on actions for damages brought in EU Member State courts.

Publications and insights

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    • 30/03/2022
    • News

    Van Bael & Bellis successfully assists Japan Airlines in obtaining the partial annulment by the EU General Court of the readopted EU Commission decision in the airfreight competition case

    In a judgment issued today, the General Court of the European Union partially annulled the European Commission decision of 17 March 2017 fining Japan Airlines, and a number of other airlines, for having entered into arrangements relating to fuel and security surcharges found to be inconsistent with EU competition law. On 16 December 2016, the General Court had totally annulled, on procedural grounds, a Commission decision of 9 November 2010 relating to the same conduct and imposing the same fine. The decision which is the subject of today’s General Court judgment essentially readopted that 9 November 2010 Commission decision. In partially annulling the decision, the General Court upheld Japan Airlines’ argument that the expiry of the limitation period prevented the Commission from finding an infringement in relation to conduct with respect to intra-EEA and EU-Switzerland routes which had ended more than ten years earlier. This partial annulment resulted in the € 35.70 million fine imposed on Japan Airlines by the Commission being reduced to € 28.88 million. Van Bael & Bellis was represented in the proceeding by Jean-François Bellis and Kris Van Hove, partners and Richard Burton, senior counsel. Further details on the case can be found on the EU Court of Justice website.

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    • 28/03/2022
    • News

    Competition Policy International publishes article on ‘Revising the competition law rulebook for digital markets in Europe’ authored by Kris Van Hove, Argyrios Papaefthymiou and Margot Vogels

    Kris Van Hove (Partner at Van Bael & Bellis), Argyrios Papaefthymiou (Associate at Zepos & Yannopoulos) and Margot Vogels (Associate at Van Bael & Bellis) have authored a new article on “Revising the competition law rulebook for digital markets in Europe: an update” published in the latest edition of Competition Policy International (CPI). Its purpose is to timely inform readers of the seismic shift that is currently underway in competition law enforcement in the digital sector. The new article is a sequel to a previous article written by Kris Van Hove and Argyrios Papaefthymiou in October 2020 on the same subject matter and also published in CPI (available here). At that time, there were multiple studies and policy papers that identified the perceived competition law problems in digital markets in Europe and discussed various approaches to address these problems. The article then discussed these problems and approaches and submitted them to a critical assessment. In the meantime, these studies and policy papers have been translated into legislative and regulatory action as well as new enforcement action. The new article addresses these initiatives and enforcement action, which - as previously - have been submitted to a critical assessment. The new article is available under this link.

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    • 26/01/2022
    • News

    Van Bael & Bellis successfully assists ACT in its intervention in support of Intel’s challenge to EU Commission abuse of dominance decision set aside by the General Court

    In a judgment issued today, the General Court of the European Union has annulled the part of the EU Commission’s decision of 13 May 2009 finding that rebates granted to Intel’s major OEM customers infringed Article 102 TFEU. The Court also annulled the fine of € 1.06 billion imposed on Intel. The appeal lodged by Intel against that decision had been dismissed by the General Court in a judgment of 12 June 2014. In a landmark judgment issued on 6 September 2017, the Court of Justice decided to set aside the General Court judgment and to refer the case back to the General Court with instruction to examine the evidence put forward by the Commission to establish the capability of the rebates at issue to restrict competition. The judgment issued today by the General Court sets aside the part of the Commission decision finding the rebates at issue as abusive within the meaning of Article 102 TFEU and annuls the fine of € 1.06 billion imposed on Intel. Throughout the successive proceedings before the General Court and the Court of Justice, Van Bael & Bellis has assisted the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), a trade association representing more than 5,000 IT firms worldwide, in its intervention in support of Intel’s challenge to the Commission’s 2009 decision. ACT was represented in this matter by Van Bael & Bellis partners Jean-François Bellis, Kris Van Hove and Tim Kasten. Further details on the case can be found on the EU Court of Justice’s website.

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