Max Klasse focuses on all aspects of German and European antitrust and competition, EU state aid and merger control law. In the area of antitrust, he advises companies in relation to internal investigations, in cartel proceedings, in compliance and behavioural matters. He is very experienced in getting deals through merger control, including in complicated cases with remedy packages. In state aid cases he represents both companies and state authorities before the EU courts and was recently counsel to the German Federal Government before the European Court of Justice.
Max works across many industries and has particular experience in the following sectors: food and consumer products, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, chemicals, media, transport and logistics, and telecoms. Max is regularly listed as “one of the world’s leading competition experts” in Who’s Who Legal: Competition and is also among Who’s Who Legal Thought Leaders “Germany” and “Competition”. He is „Recommended by The Legal 500“, listed in Chambers Europe for Competition/European Law, and recognised in the Legal Media Group’s Expert Guides “Rising Stars” section for competition and antitrust. In relation to State aid law he is ranked by GCR Who’s Who Legal as one of the few leading State aid lawyers in Germany.
Max is admitted to the Bar in Germany (Rechtsanwalt). He is a member of the association of German antitrust lawyers (Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht), the Berlin Roundtable EU State aid law (Berliner Gesprächskreis zum Europäischen Beihilfenrecht), and the American Bar Association (Antitrust Section).
Languages: German, English
- Representing Vodafone before the courts in relation to a successful third-party intervention against a Bundeskartellamt decision clearing a joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and EWE subject to remedies
- Advising CRRC on the merger control and FDI aspects of its acquisition of Vossloh Locomotives (complex phase II proceedings before the Bundeskartellamt)
- Advising Qell Acquisition Corp. (SPAC) in relation to its multi-billion merger with Lilium
- Advising a multinational conglomerate in relation to the sale of a supplier to the automotive industry to a competitor (complex EU case with remedies)
- Advising a large media company in relation to a marketing joint venture with a competitor (phase II case before the German Federal Cartel Office)
- Advising the Monitoring Trustee in various European Commission remedy cases (inter alia, case AT.39816 – Gazprom and case M.9564 – LSEG/Refinitiv)
- Advising German Naval Yards in relation to a consortium with Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems and Fr. Lürssen (manufacture and supply of corvettes to the German armed forces)
- Advising UPLINK Network before the Bundeskartellamt and in courts in relation to the dispute around access to radio antennas
- Advising an FMCG conglomerate in relation to the German Federal Cartel Office’s proceedings against suppliers and retailers in relation to RPM and other vertical agreements
- Advising a market dominant company in relation to its new trade terms and rebate scheme
- Advising companies in relation to internal compliance audits
Before founding BLOMSTEIN, Max was a lawyer in the antitrust and competition group of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP from 2005 until 2016. During his time with Freshfields he was seconded to the Freshfields offices in Düsseldorf (2015), London (2014) and Cologne (2008) and also worked in Brussels. In 2012 he was seconded to a leading transport services provider.
Max studied law at Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany. He holds a Doctor of Laws degree (Dr. iur., summa cum laude) from the University of Cologne, Germany. During his legal studies he spent time with another law firm in London and with the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission (2005).
Max regularly publishes on aspects of German and European antitrust and EU state aid law. He is author in Münchener Kommentar zum Kartellrecht, im Beck’schen Prozessformularbuch, co-author of a legal textbook on antitrust law in the pharmaceutical sector (together with Thomas Lübbig) and author in Heidenhain, European State Aid Law.
“highly experienced lawyer, client-oriented”, “reliable and more than ready to act on short notice” Chambers Europe 2021
“one of the best” The Legal 500 Deutschland 2021
“dynamisch, effizient, zielorientiert” JUVE Handbuch Wirtschaftskanzleien 2020/2021
- Chapter on Information Exchange in Germany, in: Marosi/Soares (eds.), Information Exchange and Related Risks, 1st edition 2022 (with Anna Huttenlauch and Marie-Luise Heuer)
- Chapter “Germany”, in: GCR Cases & Precedents: Vertical Restraints 2022, 2021, 2020 (with Anna Huttenlauch)
- Münchener Kommentar zum Wettbewerbsrecht, Band 2: Deutsches Wettbewerbsrecht Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen (GWB): Kommentierung von § 30 GWB (Presse), gemeinsam mit Eckhard Bremer und Jens Hackl, München 2020
- Beck’sches Prozessformularbuch (Hrsg. Mes): Kapitle IX. Rechtsschutz vor den Gerichten der Europäischen Union, gemeinsam mit Hans-Joachim Prieß, München 2019
- The Higher Regional Court of Berlin applies market tipping rules for first time and prohibits list-first rebates offered by leading real estate portal (Immoscout), Court decision of 11 February 2022, Concurrences e-Competitions Bulletin February 2022, Art. N° 108224 (with Philipp Trube)
- The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court acquits 3 breweries in the breweries cartel case (Kölsch-Kartell), Court decision of 8 September 2021, Concurrences e-Competitions Bulletin September 2021, Art. N° 108219 (with Philipp Trube and Marie-Luise Heuer)
- The German Federal Court of Justice rules that a concentration strengthening an existing dominant market position can be prohibited without the need for a further significance test (CTS Eventim / Four Artists), Court decision of 12 January 2021, Concurrences e-Competitions Bulletin January 2021, Art. N° 108259 (with Marie-Luise Heuer)
- Geldbußen im Kathodenstahlröhrenkartell, Anm. zu EuGH, Urteil v. 14.9.2017, Rs. C-588/15 P, EuZW 2017, 935
- Digitalisierungsvorschriften in der 9. GWB-Novelle, Max Klasse und Lars Wiethaus, WUW 2017, 354
- Kartellrecht im Pharma- und Gesundheitssektor, Thomas Lübbig and Max Klasse, Baden-Baden, 2nd edition (2015) (1st edition 2007)
- Chapter The Impact of Altmark: The European Commission Case Law Responses, in: Financing Services of General Economic Interest, Szyszczak/van de Gronden (eds.), T.M.C. Asser Press (2013)
- Chapters Public Undertakings and Services of General Economic Interest, in: European State Aid Law, Heidenhain (ed.), C. H. Beck/Hart Publishing (2010)
- Kartellrechtliche Schranken beim Abschluss von Rabattverträgen, Thomas Lübbig and Max Klasse, Arzneimittel & Recht (2009), p. 51
- Ausfuhrbeihilfen nach dem EG-Beihilfenrecht, Ehlers/Wolffgang/Schröder (eds.), Subventionen im WTO- und EG-Recht, Frankfurt am Main (2007)
- Gemeinschaftsrechtliche Grenzen für staatlich veranlasste Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen, Baden-Baden (2006)
- Praktische Anwendung der neuen Leitlinien für Klima-, Umwelt- und Energiebeihilfen, Berliner Gesprächskreis zum Europäischen Beihilfenrecht, Berlin, 16 May 2022 (with Steffen Sühnel, PricewaterhouseCoopers)
- Problematische Partnerschaften – Rechtliche Stolpersteine bei der Kooperation mit anderen Unternehmen, DWT kompakt: Rechtsrisiken Mittelständischer Unternehmer in der Wehrtechnischen Industrie, Bonn, 10 November 2021
- Die Entscheidung des Bundeskartellamts in dem Hauptprüfungsverfahren CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotives Co., Ltd./Vossloh Locomotives GmbH, Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht, Regionalgruppe Berlin, 19 January 2021
- Hipster Antitrust – Digitisation of antitrust law, panel discussion with Anna Huttenlauch, Nikolas Guggenberger and Sebastian Louven, Telemedicus Sommerkonferenz 2018, Berlin, 1 July 2018
- Die fusionskontrollrechtlichen Vorschriften der 9. GWB Novelle, Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht, Bonn, 1 December 2016
- 7. Deutscher Energiesteuertag, Berlin, 9 December 2016, “Praxispanel Beihilferecht: EU-Vorgaben für das deutsche Energiesteuerrecht” (introduction and moderator)
very deep understanding of competition law and digitisation issues, which he combines profitably with excellent knowledge from the everyday practice of companies and authorities
a top choice for digital topics
an outstanding competition lawyer with expertise spanning antitrust, merger control and state aid