Regulations should change if MFNs prove damaging, EU official says

12 November 2013

The European Commission should consider updating its list of hard-core competition law violations and change its regulations should experience prove that retail most-favoured nation clauses in contracts between suppliers and distributors almost always harm competition and consumers. Ron Knox at GCR Live in Brussels

National security concerns hindering deals in US and China

14 November 2013

Chinese and American authorities are increasingly worried about foreign takeovers in strategic industries, resulting in deals taking longer, being subject to more stringent conditions and sometimes being vetoed altogether. Henry Vane at GCR Live in Brussels

Competition chief says FTC continues to pursue section 5 cases

14 November 2013

Deborah Feinstein, director of the US Federal Trade Commission’s bureau of competition, says the agency continues to push for investigations and enforcement action against potentially anti-competitive single-firm conduct, including cases that could be brought under section 5 of the FTC Act. 

Regulatory and antitrust overlap creates trouble in financial investigations

Regulatory and antitrust overlap creates trouble in financial investigations

13 November 2013

The aims of antitrust law and financial regulation are not always at odds with each other, said a  former top European Commission official, but enforcers must ensure they work in harmony with one another. Faaez Samadi at GCR Live in Brussels


John Davies

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Derek Ridyard

RBB Economics


James Aitken

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Christian Ahlborn


Daniel Beard QC

Monckton Chambers

Francisco Enrique González-Díaz

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Richard Whish QC

King's College London

Ian Forrester QC

White & Case

Antonio Guerra

Uría Menéndez

Ronan P. Harty

Davis Polk & Wardwell

Julia Holtz

Director, Competition - EMEA, India, China, Google

Bojana Ignjatovic

RBB Economics

Keith Jones

Baker & McKenzie

Nelson Jung

Office of Fair Trading

Hanno Kaiser

Latham & Watkins

Lars Kjølbye

Latham & Watkins

Stephen Kon

King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin

Kai-Uwe Kühn

Associate Professor of Economics, University of Michigan

Bernd Langeheine

DG Competition, European Commission

Andrea Lofaro

RBB Economics

Andrew McBride

Principal Antitrust Counsel, BHP Billiton

Niamh McCarthy

Head of Competition Law, IAG

Julian Miezitis

Head of Legal - Global Competition, Compliance and Iberia, Associated British Foods plc

Andreas Mundt

President, Bundeskartellamt

Damien Neven

The Graduate Institute, Geneva

Jorge Padilla

Compass Lexecon

David Parker

Frontier Economics

Luc Peeperkorn

DG Competition, European Commission

Paula Riedel


Trevor Soames

Shearman & Sterling

Julie Soloway

Blake Cassels & Graydon

Annette Schild

Arnold & Porter

Marcus Smith QC

Fountain Court Chambers, part-time Chairman of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT)

Melanie Thill-Tayara

Norton Rose Fulbright

Anny Tubbs

General Counsel, Unilever

Antoine Winckler

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Alexander Winterstein

Head of Communications and Interinstitutional Relations, DG Competition, European Commission

Søren Zinck


The conference has been accredited with 14 CPD hours from the SRA.


Day One

08.30: Welcome coffee and registration

09.00: Chairs' welcome

John Davies, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Derek Ridyard, RBB Economics

09.05: Behind the headlines - A thematic review of the year

GCR Live's twist on the traditional year-in-review opener. The eminent and entertaining Professor Whish will review the year just gone - emphasizing the themes and trends behind the headlines.

Expect Richard to cover:

  • Key lessons from the year in cartels;

  • Unilateral behaviour and the growing acceptance of the "as efficient competitor test;

  • Shifts in enforcement instrument;

  • The growth of litigation and legislative initiatives there;

  • The emergence of new and influential enforcers beyond the US and EU

Richard Whish, Emeritus Professor, King's College London

10.05: Coffee break

10.30: Getting to grips with the competitive implications of MFN clauses

A session on the latest thinking about the effect of MFN clauses.

The panel will discuss:

  • The e-books and hotel booking cases

  • Differences in approach between national competition authorities

  • The choice between object and effect analysis

  • The agency defence

  • Efficiencies, and

  • Possible remedies

Bojana Ignjatovic, RBB Economics

David Parker, Frontier Economics
Nelson Jung, Office of Fair Trading
Luc Peeperkorn, DG Competition, European Commission
Antoine Winckler, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

11.45: Fifty shades of grey - the appeal, challenges and frustrations of working in-house

A panel of in-housers will share how they deal with those occasions where there is no obvious answer, such as:

  • How to conduct a competition law risk assessment when your advice might not enjoy legal privilege

  • How to decide whether to notify a merger when the obligation to file is unclear

  • How to ensure competition law gets sufficient attention when other risks are competing for resources

Andrew McBride, Principal Antitrust Counsel, BHP Billiton

Julian Miezitis, Head of Legal - Global Competition, Compliance and Iberia, Associated British Foods plc
Niamh McCarthy, Head of Competition Law, IAG 
Anny Tubbs, General Counsel, Unilever

13.00: Networking lunch

14.00: Mergers: has the Commission's aggressive stance in recent cases (UniversalRyanair, UPS etc) created a tougher merger regime?

An incredibly eminent panel will debate whether it's now impossible to get certain mergers through.

Damien Neven, The Graduate Institute, Geneva

Francisco Enrique González-Díaz, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Bernd Langeheine, DG Competition, European Commission
Andrea Lofaro, RBB Economics
Jorge Padilla, Compass Lexecon

15.30: Coffee break

16.00: IP - Pay for delay cases in pharma - the EU and US approaches compared

Two leading names in pharmaceuticals and antitrust will compare the current position on either side of the Atlantic

Stephen Kon, SJ Berwin
Hanno Kaiser, Latham & Watkins

17.00: GCR Live Oxford Union-style Debate

Two teams will debate the motion:

"This house believes that the Commission Article 102 guidance has had no real impact".

Richard Whish, Emeritus Professor, King's College London

Julia Holz, Director, Competition - EMEA, India, China, Google
Daniel Beard QC, Monckton Chambers
Alexander Winterstein, DG Competition, European Commission
Søren Zinck, LETT

18.30: Chairs' wrap

Cocktail reception sponsored by Shearman & Sterling, The Stanhope Hotel

Day Two

09.00: Chairs' welcome

John Davies, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Derek Ridyard, RBB Economics

09.05: A competition law paradise: designing the ideal regime

What's the ideal decision making format for a competition law regime? Is there one?

An experienced panel - representing enforcement, the bench, economics and counsel - will debate whether there's such a thing as a competition law paradise. What elements would it contain (or omit): courts, specialist tribunals, private arbitration/mediation, administrative authorities? And does any current regime come close?

Andreas Mundt, President, Bundeskartellamt

Marcus Smith QC, Fountain Court Chambers, part-time Chairman of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT)
Damien Neven, The Graduate Institute, Geneva
Ian Forrester QC, White & Case
Antonio Guerra, Uría Menéndez

10.45 Coffee break

11.00: Financial services: a focus on the Libor/Euribor and CDS investigations

What should antitrust specialists make of investigations underway in financial markets? A panel representing a range of perspectives will discuss the questions raised by these enforcement actions:

  • Which, if any, EU antitrust laws have been broken;

  • Is the Commission trespassing into the regulatory arena;

  • How will these actions interact with regulatory initiatives underway; and

  • How, hypothetically speaking, should damages be tackled?

James Aitken, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Melanie Thill-Tayara, Norton Rose Fulbright
Paula Riedel, Linklaters
Kai-Uwe Kühn, University of Michigan

12.30: Networking lunch

14.00: Coordinating international merger control: higher stakes and different issues

With more and more agencies active in international merger control, delivering a coordinated clearance is a challenge. It's not just differing procedural approaches and timetables but also the standards of review - negotiating remedies can seem like a series of painful, individual surgeries.

Against that backdrop, this panel will debate the best ways to navigate the changed merger control landscape and offer possible pragmatic solutions on how to get the deal through.

John Davies, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Christian Ahlborn, Linklaters
Julie Soloway, Blake Cassels & Graydon
Keith Jones, Baker & McKenzie
Ronan Harty, Davis Polk

15.30: Coffee break

16.00: The GCR Live Symposium

To close, a reprisal of our popular symposium session - aka, a question and answer session on steroids. Audience members will be asked to submit questions in advance of the event for discussion by all those present. A panel of four speakers will get the ball rolling with their own reflections on each topic and the session will be under the Chatham House rule.

Trevor Soames, Shearman & Sterling

Jorge Padilla, Compass Lexecon
Antoine Winckler, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Lars Kjølbye, Latham & Watkins
Annette Schild, Arnold & Porter

17.30: Chairs' wrap

17.45: Close of conference


The Stanhope Hotel Rue du Commerce 9 Brussels, B-1000, Belgium


Registration is unavailable.