Dr Gunnar Niels

Partner

Email
+44 (0) 1865 253001

Location: Oxford and Brussels

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Profile

Gunnar leads Oxera’s work in competition policy and litigation, with more than 20 years’ experience in the field covering mergers, agreements, abuse of dominance, damages and state aid. He has advised companies such as Deutsche Bahn, Nokia, Mars, Belgacom and MasterCard, as well as government bodies and the European Commission. Gunnar has provided expert testimony before courts in a range of jurisdictions, including the UK, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, South Africa and New Zealand, and has presented at oral hearings in European Commission inquiries.

Gunnar is currently a non-governmental adviser (NGA) to the International Competition Network (ICN) Working Group on Unilateral Conduct. Author of Economics for Competition Lawyers (Oxford University Press, 2nd edn, 2016), Gunnar is on the boards of the Competition Law Journal, Oxford Competition Law and Markt en Mededinging, has been guest editor for the Antitrust Bulletin, and has published in many leading journals. Before joining Oxera in 1999, Gunnar was deputy head of the Economics Directorate at Mexico’s Federal Competition Commission. He is on the steering committee of the Association of Competition Economics, is listed in The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists 2014, and was among the five nominees for Economist of the Year in the Global Competition Review Awards in 2011 and 2013.

Selected project experience

  • Advice to Liberty Global on the European Commission phase two inquiries into its acquisitions of Ziggo and De Vijver Media (2014–15)

  • Advice to Skyscanner in its successful appeal before the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal in the online hotel bookings case (2014)

  • Economic advice to Royal Bank of Scotland in the European Commission Article 101 investigation into the credit default swaps (CDS) market (2013–15)

  • Court-appointed expert in an abuse of dominance case before the Austrian Cartel Court involving long-term ‘take-or-pay’ gas contracts (2013–15)

  • Advice to a major retailer in relation to a UK Office of Fair Trading investigation into retail price maintenance in sports bras (2013–14)

  • Expert testimony for Arriva in the UK High Court for an abuse of dominance case against Luton Airport (2013)

  • Directed Oxera’s study on behavioural economics and competition policy for the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (2013)

  • Advice to Ryanair on Aer Lingus phase two takeover inquiries by the European Commission and UK Competition Commission (2012–13)

  • Expert in an arbitration case in Spain for a German manufacturing company (2012)

  • Economic expert for Cardiff Bus in a damages claim before the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal, following an abuse of dominance finding (2011–12)

  • Advice to the UK Office of Fair Trading on private healthcare (2011)

  • Expert testimony before the New Zealand High Court for the Commerce Commission’s prosecution of the air cargo cartel (2011)

  • Economic expert for Mars in abuse of dominance claim by Nestlé before a Dutch court (2011–12)

  • Advice to Belgacom in phase two merger with The Phone House (2011)

  • Economic advice to defendant in damages claim in the UK and the Netherlands following a European Commission cartel finding (2010–12)

  • Economic expert in an international arbitration case in the IT and mobile telephony sector (2010)

  • Led the work on Oxera’s influential report for the European Commission on quantifying damages (2008–10)

  • Advice to Telefónica during inquiry by the Spanish Competition Commission into agreements in the broadband and pay-TV market (2009)

  • Expert testimony for the liquidators of Nationwide Airlines in abuse-of-dominance case before the Competition Tribunal in South Africa (2009)

  • Advice and testimony for Angel Trains during the UK Competition Commission market investigation into rolling stock leasing (2007–09)

  • Expert testimony for Turf TV in UK High Court dispute with bookmakers (2007–08)

  • Support to Fortis during DG Competition clearance of €72 billion takeover of ABN AMRO (2007)

  • Expert testimony for Arriva in UK High Court case on predatory pricing (2007)

Selected publications

  • Niels, G., Jenkins, H. and Kavanagh, J. (2016), Economics for Competition Lawyers, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press.

  • Ten Kate, A. and Niels, G. (2014), ‘The diversion story: Resolving the ambiguities surrounding the concept of diversion ratio’, Journal of Competition Law and Economics, 10:2, pp. 361–74.

  • Niels, G., Jenkins, H. and Kavanagh, J. (2011), Economics for Competition Lawyers, Oxford University Press.

  • Ten Kate, A. and Niels, G. (2009), ‘The Relevant Market: A Concept Still in Search of a Definition’, Journal of Competition Law and Economics, 5:2, pp. 297–333.

  • Marshall, N., Jenkins, H. and Niels, G. (2008), ‘The Price of Intellectual Property: What is FRAND?’, in Global Competition Review, The Handbook of Competition Economics: A Global Competition Review Special Report, pp. 12–7.

  • Niels, G. (2007), ‘The Economist in Court: Guilty of Theories that Don’t Fit the Facts?’, Competition Law Journal, 6:4, pp. 358–63.

  • Ten Kate, A. and Niels, G. (2006), ‘Fulfilled-expectations Equilibria in Network Demand’, Review of Network Economics, 5:3, pp. 320–36.

  • Niels, G. and Jenkins, H. (2005), ‘Reform of Article 82: Where the Link between Dominance and Effects Breaks Down’, European Competition Law Review, 26:11, November.

  • Ten Kate, A. and Niels, G. (2005), ‘To What Extent are Cost Savings Passed on to Consumers? An Oligopoly Approach’, European Journal of Law and Economics, 20, pp. 323–37.

Qualifications

  • PhD Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands

  • MSc Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands


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