Prof. Dr. Thomas Höppner is a Senior Competition Lawyer and Partner at Hausfeld, advising on all areas of antitrust law, economic regulation and intellectual property. His practice covers the full range of contentious and non-contentious competition law matters, including related regulatory areas such as media, telecommunications, broadcasting and energy.
Thomas has spearheaded complaints before competition authorities and taken competition claims before civil courts, particularly in the context of an abuse of dominance and damage claims. He has particular expertise in technology, media and network industries where he regularly advises clients in complex litigation at the interface of competition law, sector-specific regulation, data protection and IP law. Recent cases include representing complainants in big data investigations relating to Alphabet (e.g. Google Shopping, Android, Privacy Sandbox, AdTech, News Showcase), Apple (ATT, App Store) and Amazon (Buy-Box, Logistics), private enforcement of competition law claims for damages and injunctive relief (e.g. NetDoktor, ImmoWelt) as well as advising on regulatory reforms in the area of digital markets, artificial intelligence, postal services and the media.
Thomas also acts as a Mediator in commercial disputes relating to online intermediaries pursuant to the Platform-to-Business Regulation (P2B-Regulation) No 2019/1150 and the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
Having studied in Berlin, Glasgow and Dundee, Thomas holds a Ph.D. (summa cum laude) and an LL.M in competition law. He was appointed as “Professor of Law” in the year 2016 and lectured business, IP and marketing law at Technical University. Previously he was a Visiting Professor for telecoms law at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
Thomas has authored/co-authored over 90 articles and five books and regularly speaks on current topics of competition and technology. His latest book on “Digital Advertising and the Google Ecosystem” was released in November 2022 (in German). His previous book, Google's (Non-) Compliance with the EU Shopping Decision, can be downloaded here for free.
Thomas won the exclusive ILO Client Choice Award for excellent client service in the area of competition law and is recommended as a leading competition and media lawyer in several directories, including Juve, Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal and Best Lawyers. According to a reference in Legal 500 (2023) “Thomas Höppner is probably the antitrust and regulatory lawyer who has by far the best grasp of the issues and regulation of BIG-Tech, both in fact and in law, in all of Europe.”
Dr. iur, Humboldt University, Berlin – Summa Cum Laude and Karlheinz-Quack Prize
LL.M, University of Dundee
Bar Exam / 2. State Exam, Berlin – Distinction
LL.B / 1. State Exam, Berlin – Distinction and Graduation Prize
Who's Who Legal Thought Leader – Competition Plaintiffs (2022-2023); Global Leader 2021-2023 & National Leader Germany 2021-2023 - Competition Plaintiffs
Best Lawyers Germany since 2017 - Media Law, Competition/Antitrust & Technology Law
Legal 500 Germany, recommended for competition law since 2018; listed as leading media competition lawyer (since 2022)
Leaders in Law since 2019 - Media & Entertainment Law
„The new Big Tech AI-Press” (in German) PRINT&more 1/2023, p. 44-45.
“Collective copyright licensing and the ban of anti-competitive agreements for the solo self-employed“, Zeitschrift für das gesamte Medienrecht AfP 1/2023, pp. 1 – 11 (Part 1) and AfP 2/2023 (Part 2).
“ChatGPT, Bard & Co.: an introduction to AI for competition and regulatory lawyers”, 9 Hausfeld Competition Bulleting (1/2023), Article 1
“Creative Destruction in Digital Ecosystems Revisited”, 9 Hausfeld Competition Bulletin (1/2023), Article 5
Datenschutz als Vorwand für Wettbewerbsverzerrungen. Warum Apples und Googles Beschränkungen personalisierter Werbung kartellrechtswidrig sind – und wie sich Werbungtreibende gegen ATT und Privacy Sandbox wehren. Markenartikel 8/2022, S. 60 – 63 (zusammen mit Philipp Westerhoff)
“From Creative Destruction to Destruction of the Creatives: Innovation in Walled-Off Ecosystems”, 1 Journal of Law, Market & Innovation (JLMI) 2022, pp. 10 – 37
“Data protection is not protection of data empires” (in German) PRINT&more 2021, pp. 42-44
“The European Google Shopping Competition Saga, Compliance and the Rule of Law”, 15 Global Competition Litigation Review (G.C.L.R.), 1/2022, pp. 9-21
"Article-by-Article Commentary of Articles 10, 12-14 of Regulation" (EU) 2019/1150 on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services (Platform-to-business Regulation), edited by Christoph Busch (in German)
"Online Advertising: The French Competition Decision on Google’s Self-Preferencing in Ad Tech," Concurrences eCompetitions Sep 2021 II (nominated for the Concurrences Antitrust Writing Awards 2022)
“Restraints of Competition under the Disguise of Data Protection? - Apple's App Tracking Policy Under Scrutiny,” (in German) Zeitschrift für Digitalisierung und Recht (ZfDR), 8/2021 (co-author)
“The Comparative Markets Approach in the Regulation of Postal Charges” (in German) Netzwirtschaften und Recht (N&R), 5/2021 (co-author)
“Who googles “health” shall end up at the website of the health minister? NetDoktor vs. Germany & Google” (in German) Neue Zeitschrift für Kartellrecht (NZKart), 4/2021
“Gatekeeper’s Tollbooth for Market Access: How to Safeguard Unbiased Intermediation”, Competition Policy International (CPI) Antitrust Chronicles, 1/2021
"Google’s (Non-) Compliance with the EU Shopping Decision", book, 9/2020
"What can an effective regulation of internet platforms look like?" (in German), relevant 1/2020
"In a Nutshell: Why the EU's Google Shopping case matters", Competition Law Insights, 2/2020
“Platform regulation light: on the concept of companies with paramount cross-market relevance in the 10th amendment of the German Act against Restraints of Competition” (in German), Wirtschaft und Wettbewerb, 2/2020
“The modernization of the law on abuse of dominance according to the draft bill for a 10th amendment of the German competition act” (in German), Kommunikation & Recht January 2020 (co-author)
“The EU regulation 2019/1150 on fairness and transparency of online-intermediation services (“P2B-Regulation”) (in German), Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsrecht December 2019 (co-author)
"Google for Jobs: Revolution einer Branche auf Kosten Dritter?" (revolution of an industry at the expense of third parties?), Focus Online, 2019
"Saving Face(book) - Why the FCO didn't "like" the social media giant's data practices", Competition Law Insights 3/2019
“Data Exploiting as Abuse of Dominance: The German Facebook Decision”, Hausfeld Competition Bulletin 1/2019 (Winner, 2020 Concurrences Antitrust Writing Awards: Business Articles, Unilateral Conduct)
"Fair Competition in Online Commerce: Amazon in the Focus of Competition Law" Kommunikation & Recht, Editorial 3/2019 (in German)
"Google Search (Shopping) as a Precedent for Disintermediation in Other Sectors: The Example of Google for Jobs", European Competition Law & Practice, 2019 (co-author)
"The EU's Competition Investigation into Amazon's Marketplace", Hausfeld Competition Bulletin 4/2018 (co-author, nominated for Concurrences Antitrust Writing Awards 2020)
“Google Search (Shopping): Etablierte Missbrauchskriterien für digitalen Präzendenzfall" (established criteria of abuse for digital precedent), Wirtschaft und Wettbewerb, 9/2017
“Frame sucht Einwilligung: Die neue Google-Bildersuche auf dem Prüfstand“ (frame in search of consent: the new Google Images Search under scrutiny), Multimedia und Recht, 8/2017 (co-author)
"Duty to Treat Downstream Rivals Equally: (Merely) a Natural Remedy to Google's Monopoly Leveraging Abuse", European Competition and Regulatory Law Review, 9/2017
“Medienkartellrecht – die aktuelle Fallpraxis” (media competition law – the current case law), Kommunikation und Recht, 9/2016
“Moving towards a World of Selfies? A Critical View of the EU legislative framework for the use of images online”, GRUR International, 7/2016
“Regulatory Challenges of the Internet of Things,” Computer and Telecommunications Law Review, December 2015 (co-author)
“Defining Markets for Multi-Sided Platforms,” World Competition, September 2015
“The EU Competition Investigation of Internet Search,” Computer Law Review International, April 2013 (co-author)
“Google: Friend or Foe of Ad-Financed Content-Providers?,” Journal of Media Law, 2013
“Telekommunikationsrecht. Berliner Kommentar”, Deutscher Fachverlag, 2009, 2013 (co-author)
“Competition Law in Intellectual Property Litigation,” European Competition Journal, 2011
"Zeitliche Grenzen für die Rückforderung überhöhter Infrastrukturentgelte," Netzwirtschaften und Recht, 2010
“Abuse of Market Dominance: The Refusal to Supply Competitors under Article 82 EC,” VDM Publishing, 2009
Speech & Panel, “Private Enforcement of the DMA”, Competition Litigation Forum, 2023
Speech & Panel, “Monopolization and Abuse of Dominance: Is Big Tech Bad?”, Antitrust and 21st Century Bigness: Dealing with Tech Platforms in a Globalized World, New York University, 2023
Speech „The Digital Markets Act“, OMG Webseminar, 2023
Panel, „´In the event of disruption of competition, the necessary measures shall be taken` - Evaluation of the general competition clause proposed in the draft Competition Enforcement Act (§ 32f GWB-E)“ (in German), Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht e.V., 2022
Speech & Panel “Defending Workers and Professionals from Concentrated Power”, How Monopoly Threatens Democracy and Security, OpenMarkets/LobbyControl/SOMO, Brussels, 2022
Panel, “Platforms Data and Innovation”, Jean Monnet RETEL and PlatformLaw 2022 conference, 2022
Panel, “Democratization of Corporations – Amazon: a Case for Antitrust & Labor Fights”, Corporate Power Conference, Berlin 2022
Speech, “The Digital Markets Act from the perspective of the media and advertising industry”, 2. DACH Antitrust Conference, Göttingen 2022
Speech, “Digital Markets Acts: Which Obligations Apply to Gatekeepers?”, 20. @kit-Congress, Berlin 2022
Speech & panel, “Google Search (Shopping) Judgment: Implications for Tech Antitrust & Regulation”, Lexology webinar 29/11/2021
Panel, “Australia’s Media Bargaining Code for Tech Platforms: Will the EU Consider a Similar Code?”, Competition Law & Regulation in the TMT Sector 2021 organized by Informa, 9/11/2021
Speech, “DMA – The Digital Markets Act”, Annual Conference on European Media Law, Institute of EU Media Law (EMR), 2021 The impact of the proposed DSA & DMA on commercial broadcasting - Bing video
Panelist, "Monopolization and Abuse: Application to Platforms and Digital Markets", Antitrust and 21st Century Bigness: Dealing with Tech Platforms in a Globalized World, New York 2020
Panelist, “Abuse of Dominance in Digital Markets in the 10. Reform of the German Competition Act” (in German), L&A Wettbewerbstag 2020, Hamburg 2020
Panelist, “Amazon’s monopoly power: threats to a fair marketplace”, UNI Europe Amazon Symposium, Brussels 2019
Moderator & Panelist, “Do We Have the Tools to Regulate? Reviewing Recent Reports and Proposals”, 28th Advanced EU Competition Law Conference, Brussels 2019
Panelist, “Das Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverleger” (the ancillary copyright for press publishers), DAV AGEM Herbsttagung, Berlin 2019
Speech, "Antitrust Investigations Against Amazon - Current State of Affairs", EIBF Annual Conference, Frankfurt 2019
Moderator, "The Future of Competition Law", Big Data & Competition Law Conference, Brussels 2019
Panelist, “Damages Claims in E-commerce Cases”, UIA’s 10th Annual Business Law Forum, Vienna 2019
Speaker, “Tech Platforms and Antitrust – Different approaches on both sides of the Atlantic?”, DAJV annual conference, Berlin 2019
Panelist, "Effective Competition Law Remedies", Lexxion Symposium on Online Platforms & Competition Law, Brussels 2019
Speaker, "Competition (law) in the internet” (in German), Juristische Gesellschaft zu Berlin, 2019
Panelist, "Online Platforms: Competition Law & Regulation", Podcast, 2019
Speaker "EU Regulation on Online Intermediaries: Limitation of Digital Power or Bureaucracy Paper Tiger?" (in German), 18th @kit-Congress, Berlin 2019
Speaker "Expansion of Dominance in the Digital Sphere“, Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht, Berlin 2019
Panelist, “Opportunities for Damages Actions Beyond Cartels”, Private Enforcement of Competition Law Conference, Brussels 2019
Speaker, "Abuse of Dominance on Multi-Sided Markets: Current Cases at EU and national level", 2. Berliner Kartellrechtstag, 2019
Chair, "Ensuring Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Sphere", PolicyExchange Forum, Brussels 2019
Speaker, "Private Enforcement of Competition Law in the Digital Sphere", 27th Advanced EU Competition Law, Brussels 2018
Panel moderator, "Regulating the Digital Economy: Are the Old Tools Fit for the New World?", 27th Advanced EU Competition Law, Brussels 2018
Speaker, “Update Internet Competition Law”, 7th @kit conference, Berlin 2018
Panelist, "EU-wide Level Playing Field for Platforms", Münchner Medientage 2017
Panelist, “Indirekte Netzwerkeffekte“ (indirect network effects), L&A-Wettbewerbstag 2017, Hamburg 2017
Panelist, "Neutrality, Equal Treatment and Fairness – New ‘Gold Standards’ under Article 102 TFEU?", CoRe/CCIA Conference, 2017, Brussels 2017
Speaker, "Private Enforcement in the Digital Sphere", 26th Advanced EU Competition Law 2017, Brussels
Panelist, “Better Regulation for Copyright”, European Parliament, Brussels 2017
Speaker, ”Licensing for News Intermediaries”, European Copyright – Quo Vadis?, EUI Florence, 2017
Panelist, “Streitgespräch zum Presseverleger-Leistungsschutzrecht für Europa," re:publica Berlin 2017
Panelist, "Internet Giants and their Impact on the Online Market" and "Google in the EU and the US: Search, Complaints and Licensing", CEPIC World Conference, Berlin 2017
Panelist, “The Link is Safe: Publisher’s Rights in the Digital Age”, Future Media Lounge, European Parliament, Brussels 2017
Speaker, “Algorithms and Search Engines”, Algorithm Workshop, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow 2017
Speaker, “Publishers’ Rights”, Hearing on Copyright, European Parliament, Brussels 2017
Speaker, "Briefing on the Proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market", Workshop for Legal Affairs Committee, European Parliament, Brussels, 2017
Speaker, “Legal Aspects of the Internet of Things”, 10. Forschungskolloquium, TH Wildau, 2017
Speaker, "New EU-Directive for an Ancillary Copyright for Press Publishers?", 45th FIW Informationstagung, Brussels, 2016
Speaker, "Internetökonomie und Recht" (internet economy and law), Technical University Wildau, 2016
Panelist, "Press Freedom in a Digital World: The Value of Copyright", ENPA event, Brussels 2016
Speaker, “Law and Economics of Behavioural & Targeted Advertising” and “Regulatory Approaches to Intermediation Platforms”, Florence School of Regulation, Annual Training, EUI, Florence 2016
Speaker, “One size fits all? Getting Europe’s tech policy right”, ICOMP Debate, Brussels, 2015
Speaker, “Abuse of Dominance in Digital Markets: The Case against Google”, 6th GRUR/JIPLP Joint Seminar, Munich 2015
Speaker, “The EU Commission`s Investigation of Internet Search”, ICOMP Brussels, 2014
Speaker, “Regulating Search: Competition Law, Copyright and Sector-Specific Approaches”, CILP, Glasgow, 2014
Speaker, “Economics of E-Commerce Platforms”, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, 2014
Speaker, “Press Publishers’ View on Google’s Commitment Proposals”, FairSearch Press Conference, Brussels, 2013
WHAT OTHERS SAY
Thomas Höppner is recognized in Juve, Legal 500 Germany and Who's Who Legal and other publications, such as Best Lawyers Awards, as one of the leading antitrust lawyers in Germany with outstanding expertise in the field of digital economies. His article "Data Exploiting as an Abuse of Dominance: The German Facebook Decision" won the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards.
Lexology Client Choice Awards
Thomas was recognized in the Lexology Client Choice Awards 2021 for Competition in Germany.
- "No matter which competition law aspect it concerns, the quality of Thomas’s advice is consistently outstanding; legally, economically and technically solid and practically implementable.”
- "Mr. Höppner is a sharp and brilliant legal pioneer in the competition sphere. Going straight to the heart of complex issues in record time, he guides clients in an honest and easy to understand way through every aspect of a case, in a calm but reassuringly positive manner.”
- “I have never seen so much knowledge of facts and relevant law, especially in the field of digital network economics, plus outstanding creativity in argumentation and case analysis at a very reasonable price.”
- “I personally like working with Thomas because he is so passionate about his work and genuinely cares for the cases he deals and the people he works with.”
"Thomas Höppner has a in-depth understanding of the internet economy” - JUVE 2023
"there are not many who have such a deep background on Google," said one client. - Antitrust, 2020.
It highlights its "expertise in the digital economy." - Antitrust, 2018
Legal 500 Germany
"Thomas Höppner is probably the antitrust and regulatory lawyer who has by far the best grasp of the issues and regulation of BIG-Tech, both in fact and in law, in all of Europe.” – Competition Law, 2023
“Thomas Höppner: Mr. Big Tech; no one knows the field of GAFAs and the legal problems of the digital industry better than him.” – Competition Law, 2023
“Thomas Höppner has always proven that he is one of the most noteworthy legal experts in the field of digital markets and network policy. Mr. Höppner is an excellent lawyer with outstanding legal knowledge who has always advised and supported us to our fullest satisfaction, especially in the area of competition policy. He provides first-class legal advice, incisive legal opinions and excellent litigation.” – Competition Law, 2023
"Prof. Höppner has outstanding knowledge of both digital platforms and relevant law and the scientific discussion with them. Relentless and extremely knowledgeable representative of the client’s interests." - Competition Law, 2022
"Thomas Höppner is professionally brilliant, intrinsically motivated, and has a fast grasp of even complex business issues." He "not only provides legal advice, but understands the overall context." - Competition Law, 2021
He "has many years of experience in proceedings at the EU Commission, is very well connected as a result and extremely proactive." - Competition Law, 2020
Who's Who Legal
Recognised as Thought Leader in Competition Plaintiff & Competition Germany, Global Leader in Competition Plaintiff and National Leader for Competition Germany 2023: "Thomas has an unparalleled knowledge of the complex world of digital markets, digital advertising ecosystems and abuse of dominance in digital ecosystems."
Acknowledged as an "extremely versatile" practitioner who is "an outstanding subject matter expert on the legal aspects of antitrust law." – Global Guide Competition, 2022
Recognised as single “Thought Leader” (since 2022) and “Global Leader” (since 2021) in category “Competition Plaintiffs” from Germany; also recognised as “National Leader” (since 2021) in category “Competition”.
Acknowledged as an "extremely versatile" practitioner who is "an outstanding subject matter expert on the legal aspects of antitrust law." Noted as single National Leader Germany - Competition Plaintiff 2022
Recognised as a Global Leader for Competition Plaintiff in the 2021 edition of Who’s Who Legal ‘Global Leaders 2021’
A “very smart lawyer”, “Outstanding understanding of very complex technical and economic systems, in particular digital platform market, outstanding knowledge of competition law, outstanding written and oral argumentation” – Competition, 2020
WHAT OTHERS SAY
Competition Law, 2023
"Thomas Höppner is probably the antitrust and regulatory lawyer who has by far the best grasp of the issues and regulation of BIG-Tech, both in fact and in law, in all of Europe.”
Global Guide Competition, 2022
Acknowledged as an "extremely versatile" practitioner who is "an outstanding subject matter expert on the legal aspects of antitrust law."
Legal 500 Germany, 2022
‘Prof. Höppner has outstanding knowledge of both digital platforms and relevant law and the scientific discussion with them. Relentless and extremely knowledgeable representative of the client’s interests.’
Legal 500 Germany, 2022
‘Prof. Thomas Höppner is an excellent advisor in the field of antitrust law. His very high level of expertise is paired with an extreme understanding of his clients’ economic concerns.’
Who's Who Legal, 2022
“extremely versatile” practitioner who is recognised as “an outstanding subject matter expert on the legal aspects of antitrust law”
Legal 500 Germany, 2021
Thomas is professionally brilliant, intrinsically motivated and has a lightning-fast grasp of even complex business issues.
Legal 500 Germany, 2020
Hausfeld, and Thomas in particular, has deep expertise in digital business models in addition to knowledge in antitrust law.
Who's Who Legal, 2020
'very smart lawyer', 'Outstanding understanding of very complex technical and economic systems, in particular digital platform market, outstanding knowledge of competition law, outstanding written and oral argumentation'
Lexology Client Choice Awards, 2021
No matter which competition law aspect it concerns, the quality of Thomas’s advice is consistently outstanding; legally, economically and technically solid and practically implementable.
Lexology Client Choice Awards, 2021
Mr. Höppner is a sharp and brilliant legal pioneer in the competition sphere. Going straight to the heart of complex issues in record time, he guides clients in an honest and easy to understand way through every aspect of a case, in a calm but reassuringly positive manner.
Lexology Client Choice Awards 2021
I have never seen so much knowledge of facts and relevant law, especially in the field of digital network economics, plus outstanding creativity in argumentation and case analysis at a very reasonable price.
Lexology Client Choice Awards
I personally like working with Thomas because he is so passionate about his work and genuinely cares for the cases he deals and the people he works with.