The Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht was founded by 14 competition lawyers in Düsseldorf on 25 March 1965. The first members of the Studienvereinigung's board were Dr. Herbert Axster, Dr. Dietrich Ehle, Günther Wildanger, Hans Hengeler, Professor Dr. Philipp Möhring, Professor Heinz Rowedder and Professor Arved Deringer.
In 1972, Alfred-Carl Gaedertz was appointed chairman. He was followed in 1994 by Dr. Cornelis Canenbley, who was succeeded in the office in 2006 by Dr. Frank Montag. In December 2018 Dr. Frank Montag was succeeded by Dr. Ingo Brinker as chairman.
In the fifty plus years since its formation, the Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht has grown from a small number of attorneys specialising in competition law to nearly 1300 members. The members still have in common a practice focused on competition law. In 2015, the Studienvereinigung celebrated its 50th anniversary with a symposium in Berlin.
In the early years of the Studienvereinigung, the topics dealt with were limited to general competition law and the control of abusive practices, but by the early 1970s this was expanded to include merger control, which has since been a significant focus of the activities of the Studienvereinigung.
The members of the Austrian Working Group and the Swiss Working Group have taken on an important function. They regularly hold separate meetings in which discussions concentrate on competition law issues of the Austrian and Swiss legal systems respectively.