Commission must allow efficiencies defence for object infringements

Commission must allow efficiencies defence for object infringements

13 November 2014

The recent Cartes Bancaires judgment in Europe is a welcome step away from an excessive definition of object infringement, but EU courts and the European Commission need to go further and recognise efficiency arguments, competition specialists said today. Henry Vane in Brussels

Amount of state aid in the energy sector is “disconcerting” says DG Comp official

Amount of state aid in the energy sector is “disconcerting” says DG Comp official

14 November 2014

The European Commission’s deputy head of state aid said government assistance in the energy sector is endemic and threatens the single market, but incoming guidelines will bring the problem under control. Henry Vane in Brussels


John Davies

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Adrian Majumdar

RBB Economics

Keynote Speaker

Carles Esteva Mosso

Acting Deputy Director General for Mergers, DG Competition, European Commission


Nigel Parr


Marc Pittie

Bredin Prat

Conor Quigley QC

Serle Court

Svend Albaek

Advisor, Antitrust, DG Competition, European Commission

Daniel Beard QC

Monckton Chambers

Matthew Bennett

Charles River Associates

Andreas von Bonin

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Richard Bullard

Executive Director, Head of EU and Competition, APCO Worldwide Inc.

Riccardo Celli

O'Melveny & Myers

Lorenzo Coppi

Compass Lexecon

Francisco Enrique González-Díaz

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Erik Pijnacker Hordijk

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

Helen Jenkins

Oxera Consulting

Gert Jan Koopman

Deputy Director-General for State Aid, DG Competition, European Commission

Frank P. Maier-Rigaud

NERA Economic Consulting

Alexander Rinne

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy

Patrick Smith

RBB Economics

Christoph Stadler

Hengeler Mueller

James Venit

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

James Webber

Shearman & Sterling

Richard Whish QC

King's College London

Natalie Yeung

Slaughter and May

This conference has been accredited with 8.5 CPD points.


Day one - Wednesday, 12 November

13.30: Welcome coffee and registration

14.00: Chairs’ welcome

John Davies, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Adrian Majumdar, RBB Economics

14.15: Keynote speaker

  • A review of the enforcement of merger control during 2013/14 and expected priorities under the new Commission
  • The proposals on regulation of non-controlling minority shareholdings
  • The rise of national protectionism
  • Procedural issues: internal document review, use of economic models, use of upfront buyer solutions in divestiture remedies

Carles Esteva Mosso, Acting Deputy Director General for Mergers, DG Competition, European Commission

15.15: Merger control and the national public interest

  • The rise of protectionism at Member State level
  • Intervention by governments including by France, Germany and the UK
  • The application of Article 21(4) EUMR to mergers of community dimension
  • The implications of the rules on free movement of capital to mergers without community dimension
  • Case law on golden shares
  • Update on the latest developments in China through MOFCOM enforcement

Marc Pittie, Bredin Prat

Carles Esteva Mosso, Acting Deputy Director General for Mergers, DG Competition, European Commission

Natalie Yeung, Slaughter and May
John Davies, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Patrick Smith, RBB Economics

16.30: Coffee break

16.45: Developments on private antitrust actions in EU competition law

  • “Creative solutions” developed by judges in the UK and the Netherlands on:
    - Access to documents
    - Attribution of liability
    - Passing-on
  • Uncertain future for claims vehicles in Germany following the rejection of CDCs claims in the cement case
  • Quantification of damages under the new directive – can presumptions help?
  • The influence of the new directive on settlements
  • Collective claims - lessons to be learned from the US and other jurisdictions

Erik Pijnacker Hordijk, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

Helen Jenkins, Oxera Consulting
James Webber, Shearman & Sterling
Daniel Beard QC, Monckton Chambers
Christoph Stadler, Hengeler Mueller

18.00: Conclusion of day one

19.15 onwards: All delegates are invited to attend a drinks reception and conference dinner at the Hotel Amigo kindly hosted by Shearman & Sterling

Dinner speaker:
Richard Bullard, Executive Director, Head of EU and Competition, APCO Worldwide Inc.

Day two - Thursday, 13 November

8.30: Welcome coffee and registration

9.00: Chairs’ welcome

9.05: Morning speaker – Richard Whish’s year in review

Richard Whish QC, King’s College London

10.35: Coffee break

10.55: Object infringements – recent developments and key practical issues

  • “Classic” object infringements and recent developments (GSK Spain, Pierre Fabre, Murphy, Allianz Hungary, Lundbeck etc.)
  • Analysis and proof in object infringements cases
  • Object infringements and Article 101(3) TFEU

Francisco Enrique González-Díaz, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Richard Whish QC, King's College London
Alexander Rinne, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
Matthew Bennett, Charles River Associates
Nigel Parr, Ashurst

12.05: Networking lunch

13.20: Key issues in state aid – a master class for general competition lawyers

State aid is an ever more important area of competition enforcement. This panel will provide updates on all major developments general competition practitioners should be aware of:

  • Fields of economic activity that are being shaped by state aid enforcement – where do we go from here?
    - Financial services
    - Energy
    - Corporate taxation
    - Privatisations
  • The role of economic assessment in state aid cases
  • Where are we on state aid modernisation (SAM)? new priorities, new tools?

Andreas von Bonin, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Conor Quigley QC, Serle Court
Lorenzo Coppi, Compass Lexecon
Gert Jan Koopman, Deputy Director-General for State Aid, DG Competition, European Commission

14.30: Coffee break

14.45: Sifting the wreckage of the intel general court judgment

  • Where does the judgment leave:
    - The debate between effects-based and form-based enforcement?
    - The as-efficient competitor principle?
    - The scope for an efficiency defence/exemption under A102?
    - The A102 enforcement guidelines?
  • Are the ground rules different between high tech and other industry sectors?
  • Could the ECJ come to the rescue?

Adrian Majumdar, RBB Economics

Riccardo Celli, O'Melveny & Myers
James VenitSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Svend Albaek, Advisor, Antitrust, DG Competition, European Commission 
Frank P. Maier-RigaudNERA Economic Consulting

16.00: Chairs' closing remarks

16.15: Close of conference


Arts 56, Avenue des Arts 56, Brussels, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium


Registration is unavailable.