Pietro Merlino is counsel resident in the Rome office.
Mr. Merlino’s practice encompasses most aspects of European Union and Italian competition law, including abuse of dominance, merger control, restrictive practices, cartel investigations, licensing and distribution, and intellectual property. Mr. Merlino appears frequently before the EU courts of law and Italian civil and administrative courts, as well as before the European Commission and the Italian Antitrust Authority.
Most recently, Mr. Merlino successfully represented Eni in obtaining the Commission’s approval of certain commitments, ending abuse of dominance proceedings concerning the management and operation of a number of international natural gas pipelines, without a finding of infringement. He also successfully represented before the Europe’s General Court in the reversal of a €58 million fine concerning a cartel in the hydrogen peroxide and persalts markets, in which Edison’s former subsidiary Ausimont was allegedly involved. He also recently represented Eni in winning an appeal before the Italian supreme administrative court regarding an alleged exclusionary abuse, which led to a 93% reduction of the largest antitrust fine ever issued in Italy. He also represented concrete producer Xella International in an appeal before the Administrative Tribunal of Lazio, which resulted in the annulment of fines and structural remedies imposed by the Italian Antitrust Authority over Xella’s alleged participation in an anticompetitive scheme (the first degree judgment was mostly recently upheld by the Council of State), and Merck & Co. in a two-year investigation before the Italian Antitrust Authority concerning an alleged abuse of dominance, closed with the approval of the commitments submitted by Merck & Co.
Mr. Merlino regularly lectures on competition law issues at various academic institutions, including the University of Rome "La Sapienza", and has contributed to several publications on these matters. Most recently, he co-authored "The duty to invest in the development of infrastructures: some considerations on two parallel stories", Mercato Concorrenza Regole
Mr. Merlino is recommended as an EU, regulatory and competition lawyer by The Legal 500 EMEA
Mr. Merlino joined the firm in 1999 and became counsel in 2009. He worked in the Brussels office from July 2001 through July 2003. He graduated with honors from the law school of the University of Naples "Federico II" in 1996. He received an LL.M. in Advanced European Legal Studies from the College of Europe of Bruges in 1998. In 1999, he obtained an LL.M. from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a Fulbright scholar and received a Merit Award for outstanding performance in the EU antitrust course. In 2005, he completed a PhD in EU competition law at the University of Naples "Federico II". Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Merlino worked at the law firm of Professor Antonio Tizzano, currently a judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg.
Mr. Merlino has been a member of the Naples Bar since 2001. He is a native Italian speaker, is fluent in English and French, and has a basic knowledge of Portuguese.