Photograph of Karl Stas

Karl Stas

Senior Counsel


Karl Stas is a senior counsel in the Antitrust & Competition Group in the Brussels office of Crowell & Moring. He focuses on EU and Belgian competition law and the regulation of network industries (in particular telecommunications, postal, and energy). Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Karl gained extensive advisory and litigation experience working in the competition and regulatory practice of an international law firm in Brussels.

Karl assists international and Belgian clients in complex antitrust and regulatory matters, representing clients both before the European Commission and national antitrust and regulatory authorities. He also has experience litigating antitrust and regulatory cases before Belgian Belgian civil and administrative courts at all levels, as well as before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

Karl has been noted as a “key figure” for competition law in Belgium by the leading legal journal Legal 500 EMEA.

Representative Engagements

  • Advised a Belgian postal operator on the state aid aspects of the extension of its management contract with the Belgian state concerning the provision of services of general economic interest (SGEI). The European Commission cleared the extension unconditionally.
  • Advised Belgian print and online media group IPM on its acquisition of Editions de l’Avenir and L’Avenir Hebdo. The transaction was cleared unconditionally by the Belgian Competition Authority.
  • Advised the telecommunications and media group Liberty Global on the creation of a subscription video on demand (SVOD) joint venture with DPG Media. The transaction was cleared unconditionally by the European Commission.
  • Assisted a European federation of authorized car dealers in negotiations with the manufacturer concerning a new distribution model.
  • Successfully represented a Belgian mobile operator in proceedings before the Market Court (a specialized division of the Brussels Court of Appeal) brought by a distributor of mobile signal repeaters who contested a decision by the Belgian telecommunications regulator (BIPT) requiring suppliers of repeaters to obtain the authorization of the licensed mobile operators to use their spectrum.
  • Successfully represented a Belgian mobile operator in proceedings before the Market Court brought by several associations and individuals contesting the award of provisional 5G spectrum licenses to the existing mobile operators.
  • Intervened on behalf of Telenet in litigation before the Liège Court of First Instance concerning the sale of Walloon cable operator VOO to a private equity fund. The Court suspended the implementation of the transaction, prompting the buyer to abandon the deal and the seller to organize a new bidding process.
  • Advised the telecommunications and media group Liberty Global on its acquisition of the remaining shares of De Vijver Media, the parent company of the Flemish TV broadcaster SBS and the TV production company Woestijnvis.
  • Represented a Belgian postal operator in proceedings before the Brussels Market Court contesting a decision by the Belgian postal regulator preventing the client from raising stamp prices.
  • Represented Belgian cable operators in proceedings before the Brussels Court of Appeal contesting network access regulation.
  • Represented a Belgian electricity producer in proceedings before the Belgian Constitutional Court contesting a nuclear windfall tax.
  • Represented a Belgian electricity producer and supplier in litigation with the transmission network operator in relation to the provision of reserve capacity.
  • Represented sports betting companies before the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) in an abuse of dominance claim against the Belgian National Lottery. This resulted in the imposition of a fine on the National Lottery.
  • Represented a diamond mining, trading, and retail group in defense against a claim of abuse of dominance by a Belgian diamond trader.
  • Represented a Belgian mobile operator in a pioneering antitrust damages action against a competitor.
  • Advised a Belgian mobile operator on infrastructure sharing and MVNO agreements.
  • Represented a Belgian mobile operator in proceedings before the Constitutional Court and the CJEU contesting the imposition of license fees for the use of radio spectrum.
  • Advised a Belgian company active in the banking and payment services industry in relation to third-party access to accounts under the second EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2).
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company in merger proceedings before the European Commission relating to a transaction in the OTC medicines markets.
  • Intervened on behalf of a satellite communications operator in proceedings brought by a competitor before the Brussels Market Court contesting the client’s right to operate ground stations on the Belgian territory.
  • Advised a manufacturer and supplier of medical devices on incentives to health care professionals, as well as on public procurement issues.
  • Assisted an international sports betting group in securing a license in Belgium.
  • Carried out an antitrust compliance audit at a Belgian company active in the rail freight sector.
  • Advised a European trade association on EU energy efficiency and ecodesign regulation.

Education

  • Ghent University, B.A. Romance studies (1999)
  • Catholic University of Leuven, M.A. European studies (2001)
  • Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), J.D. (2008) magna cum laude
  • University of Michigan Law School, LL.M. (2009)

Affiliations

Admitted to practice: in Belgium and before the European Court

View More

"Belgium to Introduce Foreign Direct Investment Screening Regime by 2023," Antitrust Law Alert (June 22, 2022). Contacts: Karel Bourgeois, Karl Stas, Julie van Hevele
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Revision of Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations and the Horizontal Cooperation Guidelines," Crowell & Moring Webinar, 2022. (June 9, 2022). Speakers: Thomas De Meese, Karel Bourgeois, and Karl Stas.
Speech/Presentation
"Digital Markets Act: EU Institutions Agree on New Rules to Curb the Power Of “Big Tech” Platforms," Antitrust Law Alert (May 17, 2022). Contacts: Thomas De Meese, Karl Stas, Yaël Rager
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Algoritmische Prijsbepalingen en Artificiële Intelligentie: mededingingsrechtelijke aspecten," Artificiële Intelligentie door de ogen van de Bedrijfsjurist (April 2022). Authors: Karel Bourgeois and Karl Stas.
Publication
"Adjusting Competition Policy To The Digital And Green Transition: The European Commission Publishes Draft New Rules For Cooperation Between Competitors," Antitrust Law Alert (March 24, 2022). Contacts: Thomas De Meese, Karl Stas, Flavie Van Maldegem
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Belgian Competition Act Amended to Introduce Merger Filing Fees, Fines for Failure to Notify and Procedural Changes," Antitrust Law Alert (March 14, 2022). Contacts: Karel Bourgeois, Karl Stas, Flavie Van Maldegem
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Misbruik van economische afhankelijkheid – eerste toepassingen," IBJ/IJE Partner Blog (January 24, 2022). Contacts: Karel Bourgeois and Karl Stas.
Publication
Crowell & Moring Elects 13 New Partners, Promotes Seven to Senior Counsel, and 19 to Counsel (January 3, 2022)
Firm News / Announcement
"Competition Law in Times of Price Increases and Supply Shortages," Crowell & Moring Webinar. (December 7, 2021). Speakers: Karel Bourgeois and Karl Stas.
Speech/Presentation
"European Commission Proposal on Foreign Subsidies: Towards a Globalization of EU State Aid Control?," Antitrust Law Alert (May 18, 2021). Contacts: Vassilis Akritidis, Karel Bourgeois, Karl Stas
Client Alert / Newsletter

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