Sara Ashall is counsel in the Antitrust practice.
She focuses on EU merger control, cartel investigations, antitrust proceedings and EU State aid law.
Sara spent 5 years as an associate in the Shearman & Sterling antitrust group before moving to the technology, media and telecommunications merger unit of DG Competition at the European Commission. This time at DG COMP gives her unparalleled insight into the procedures and decision-making practices of the Commission.
Sara represents clients in a range of industries including high tech, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and aviation before the EU and UK competition law authorities.
Private practice experience
- Capacitors – Acting for an alleged participant in the European Commission’s cartel investigation; no decision ultimately adopted against my client.
- ICIG / INEOS chlorvinyls assets – Advising ICIG in its acquisition of the remedy package resulting from the INEOS/Solvay PVC JV.ICIG was approved as a suitable purchaser and its acquisition was approved in Phase I.
- Google Android – Advising Microsoft and a number of other interested third parties regarding the Commission’s investigation into Google Android.
- Huntsman / Rockwood – Advising Huntsman in the European Commission Phase II review of its USD 1 billion acquisition of Rockwood’s titanium dioxide business. The acquisition was cleared with limited remedies.
- Textron / Beechcraft – Advising Textron (Cessna) regarding multiple worldwide filings in its acquisition of Beechcraft valued at USD 1.5 billion.
- Sun Pharmaceuticals – Advising Sun Pharmaceuticals in its acquisition of Ranbaxy Laboratories.
- Financial sector cartel investigation - Representing a participant in a European Commission settlement decision in a Swiss Franc Interest Rate Derivatives investigation.
- Syniverse / MACH – Lead associate representing mobile technology company Syniverse regarding the Phase II investigation of its acquisition of competitor MACH.
- T-Mobile NL / Tele2 NL – Undertaking the Commission’s in-depth investigation of the merger between two Dutch telecom operators which was cleared in Phase II.
- Altice (Article 14.2 procedure) – Investigating and drafting the Commission’s decision imposing a fine on Altice for implementing a transaction prior to notification and clearance (gun-jumping).
- Fox / Sky and Comcast / Sky – Leading the Commission’s investigation into these two high-profile mergers in the media and broadcasting sector.
- Celanese / Blackstone / JV – Lead case handler investigating this challenging proposed joint venture in the tow industry which was withdrawn in Phase II.
- PC Video Games – Working with the Digital Task Force to investigate potential geo-blocking practices in breach of Article 101.
- Hutchison 3G Italy / Wind / JV (2016) – Leading member of the case team investigating this joint venture in the Italian telecoms market and negotiating the complex Phase II remedies.
Brussels School of Competition, Belgium
Postgraduate Specialised Study Programme (LL.M.), Competition Law and Economics, magna cum laude, highest mark of the year
BPP Law School
Legal Practice Course, Distinction
College of Law
Diploma in Law, Commendation
University of Birmingham
BSc Natural Sciences (Biomolecular stream), First Class Honours
- Solicitor, England and Wales
- Avocat établi à Bruxelles
Awards & Accolades
- Named as a top '30 in their 30s' Notable Women Competition Professionals (Enforcement Category)
- Consolidation – Where are we now? – Panel discussion at the Competition Law and Regulation in the Telecoms & Communications Sector 2018 - Brussels – 6 November 2018
- Altice – Gun-jumping in the EU – Presentation to the American Chamber of Commerce EU Competition Policy Committee - Brussels – 23 October 2018
- Multi-jurisdictional merger control – Panel discussion at the EU Merger Control Conference, Brussels - 24 May 2018
- DG Competition Merger Brief - Altice / PT Portugal, issue 1/2018 July
- EU Merger Control: The Relevance of Captive Sales for the Purpose of Market Definition and Competition Assessment, Journal of European Competition Law and Practice
- Merger Remedies: An overview of EU and national case law, e-Competitions; co-authored with Stephen Mavroghenis (2014)
- European Union Competition and Cartel Leniency, Practical Law Multi-Jurisdictional Guide; co-authored with Stephen Mavroghenis and Elvira Aliende Rodriguez (2012)