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About Merit Olthoff

Merit’s practice covers EU and German competition law with a focus on EU state aid rules.

Based in our Brussels office, and also a core member of our German antitrust team, Merit’s practice covers all aspects of EU and German competition law, including cross-border merger control and foreign investment screening, as well as antitrust investigations.  Her clients include financial institutions, industrials in transformation, tech companies and private equity firms.

Merit also specialises in EU state aid procedures before the European Commission and EU Courts, and is currently advising at the forefront of green transformation and its funding.  She is a core member of our antitrust and sustainability working group, which is responsible for our contribution to ongoing policy debates and formulating regulatory strategies that help our clients achieve their ESG goals.  She is also actively engaged in the EU’s proposed new Foreign Subsidies Regulation, and co-heads the firm’s internal skills group.

Merit works in English, German and French.

Recent work

  • Aon in relation to the European Commission’s review of its $29.9bn merger with Willis Towers Watson, securing clearance at Phase II.  The EU clearance has been described by commentators as a decision that “would give hope to industry-changing deals”.
  • gategroup on the merger control (and state aid) aspects of its acquisition of the European business of Lufthansa’s subsidiary LSG Sky Chefs.  EU clearance of the deal involved structural remedies which were later (partially) waived by the European Commission – a very rare outcome in EUMR Phase I merger remedies cases.
  • major multinationals from across different business sectors on the European Commission's investigations into state aid through tax regimes, including appeal procedures before the European Courts; and a global tech company on its successful termination of a Commission investigation into fiscal aid.
  • HSH Nordbank (now Hamburg Commercial Bank) on its successful privatisation process under EU state aid and merger control rules.
  • a global industrials company on a fundamental review of its corporate strategy towards green transformation, including identifying EU and national government funding sources.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev on its $106bn acquisition of SABMiller, which created one of the world's largest consumer goods companies.  The deal was subject to regulatory clearances in more than 30 countries and required remedies, including a significant disposal of assets across the US, Europe and Asia, and public interest commitments in several jurisdictions.



  • University of London, UK (LL.M)
  • Law school at the universities of Freiburg and Hamburg, Germany

Professional qualifications

  • Rechtsanwältin, Germany (admitted to the Berlin Bar)

Professional memberships

  • Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht