Portrait of Dr Gunnar Niels

Dr Gunnar Niels : Managing Partner

Gunnar leads Oxera’s work in competition policy and litigation, with more than 25 years’ experience in the field covering mergers, agreements, abuse of dominance, damages and state aid. He has advised companies such as Deutsche Bahn, Liberty Global, Facebook, ConocoPhillips 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, Belgium, Austria, Finland, Spain, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand, and has presented at oral hearings in European Commission inquiries.

Author of Economics for Competition Lawyers (Oxford University Press, second edition, 2016), Gunnar is on the board of 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 listed in The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists.

Gunnar speaks Dutch, English, German, and Spanish.

Tel: +44 (0) 1865 253019

Gunnar's specialisms include:

professional experience

  • Advice to a global bank in the European Commission investigation into information exchange in European government bond trading (2018–)

  • Advice to comparethemarket.com in an Article 101 investigation by the UK Competition and Markets Authority into most-favoured nation (MFN) clauses (2017–)

  • Expert in a patent dispute before the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court, China (2018–20)

  • Expert advice to ASML in a patent dispute with Nikon in the Netherlands, Germany and other jurisdictions (2016–18)

  • Court-appointed expert in an abuse of dominance case before the Court of Amsterdam involving property search websites (2015–17)

  • Advice to Liberty Global on the European Commission Phase 2 inquiries into its acquisitions of Ziggo and De Vijver Media (2014–15)


  • Niels, G. (2019), ‘Transaction versus non-transaction platforms: A false dichotomy in two-sided market definition’, Journal of Competition Law and Economics, 15:2–3, pp 327–57.

  • Niels, G., Jenkins, H. and Kavanagh, J. (2016), Economics for Competition Lawyers, second 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.


  • PhD Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands

  • MSc Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands

Latest Insights:  Dr Gunnar Niels

6 minute read
Invented in the southern hemisphere, expert hot tubs are increasingly used in competition law cases in Europe. They allow the evidence from economic experts (party-appointed and/or court-appointed) to be heard…
6 minute read
On 22 November 2022, the European Commission launched a public consultation on its draft revised market definition notice. Oxera’s response to the consultation praised the Commission for the improvements on…
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The Airtours criteria set by the EU courts in 2002 play an important role in assessing the risk of (tacit) coordinated effects in merger review. However, since the three criteria—transparency,…
11 minute read
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has launched an initiative to explore whether applying a gender ‘lens’ can help deliver more effective competition policy. As surveys are often…

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