Misuse of market

European and UK competition rules impose a special responsibility on companies which have market dominance to prevent them from abusing their market power. Behaviour which would not be possible in an effectively competitive market will be found unlawful.

Being dominant is not just about size – small firms can be found dominant in niche markets.

We can advise on the likely approach to market definition to identify whether a company may be dominant in a particular market. We can also provide advice to you on your business practices, – for example selective distribution strategies or pricing issues (discount and rebate structures) – and assist if you are under investigation. If necessary we work with specialist economists to put forward your case in the most effective way to the authorities.

If you believe you have been the victim of market abuse, we can help in challenging dominant competitors’ or suppliers’ abusive practices and guide you on how to best to use competition issues in your negotiating strategies with them. If a negotiated approach is not achievable, we can work with specialist litigators to seek a resolution through the courts where it is necessary and desirable to do so.


  • acting for a major telecoms operator in relation to a complaint to Ofcom against BT regarding a wholesale pricing margin squeeze;
  • defending a well-known equities trading platform against allegations that it had abused a dominant market position in relation to the terms on which is provided access to market data;
  • defending an IP right owner from a complaint to the European Commission that it was abusing its market dominance by refusing to supply a life-saving proprietary product to its competitors;
  • advising on access to dominant IP technology including patents in standards.

Latest news

  • Sheppard│Co wins Antitrust and Competition Law Firm of the Year 2015 UK by Finance Monthly (January 2015)
  • Sheppard│Co wins Regulatory Law Firm of the Year 2015 by Corporate LiveWire (May 2015)
  • Sheppard│Co sets up the Competition Damages Unit (CDU) and Competition Damages Fund (CDF) with finance from DCLG and in collaboration with CIPFA to bring competition damages claims on behalf of the public sector (February 2015)