Coverage

No shift in excessive pricing policy, says DG Comp official

No shift in excessive pricing policy, says DG Comp official

04 July 2017

A senior official at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition today stressed the small number of excessive pricing cases the EU enforcer has pursued, and said there is “no sign” that stance will change.

Van Gerven: “fairness” in DG Comp enforcement needs explanation

Van Gerven: “fairness” in DG Comp enforcement needs explanation

04 July 2017

The EU’s competition watchdog needs to better explain what “fairness” in competition means, antitrust veteran Gerwin Van Gerven said today.

Whish urges restraint on algorithmic collusion

Whish urges restraint on algorithmic collusion

05 July 2017

King’s College London emeritus professor Richard Whish QC today largely dismissed the potential need for a new model of competition law to deal with algorithmic collusion, arguing that its effects differ little from other traditional tools used for cartel agreements.

Lawyer and economist criticise Google search case

Lawyer and economist criticise Google search case

12 July 2017

A lawyer last week slammed the thinking that underpins the European Commission’s Google search case, while an economist described the theory of harm as not being one she could relate to.

Chairs

John Davies

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Brussels and London

John Davies is a Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and former co-head of the firm’s global antitrust, competition and trade group. He divides his time between the Brussels and London offices. He was previously the head of the group and served as Managing Partner of the firm’s Brussels office for over 10 years, having founded the office in 1989. Before joining Freshfields, John worked as a Case Officer in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition.

Benoît Durand

RBB Economics, Brussels and Paris

Benoît Durand is a Partner at RBB Economics, which he joined in 2008. He has over 20 years of experience in competition economics, particularly in applying quantitative techniques in the context of competition law investigations. Prior to joining RBB, he was Director of Economic Analysis at the UK's Competition Commission, and a member of the Chief Economist Office at the Directorate General for Competition at the European Commission.

Keynote Speakers

Paul Csiszár

Director of Basic Industries, Manufacturing and Agriculture, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels

After graduating from ELTE School of Law of Budapest, Paul Csiszár studied international comparative law and earned a second Juris Doctorate at Loyola Law School in the United States. Following his admission to the Bar in 1986 in California he practiced as a corporate, securities and M&A lawyer in the US and then from 1997 in Central Europe with the international law firm of Squire Sanders until 2003 when he joined the public sector. Currently Mr Csiszár serves as Director of "Basic Industries, Manufacturing and Agriculture" at the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission.

Richard Whish QC

Emeritus Professor, King's College London

Emeritus Professor Richard Whish is a legal academic and author. He is a qualified solicitor and was in legal practice in London from 1989 to 1998. He was admitted in 1977. He has been recommended for his contribution to competition law and policy, in the UK, the European Union and in many other countries with competition laws throughout the world.

Speakers

Elvira Aliende Rodriguez

Shearman & Sterling, Brussels

Cristina Caffarra

Charles River Associates, Brussels and London

Fiona Carlin

Baker McKenzie, Brussels

Kate Collyer

Deputy Chief Economic Adviser, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), London

Margaret Segall D'Amico

Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York

Jessica Delbaum

Shearman & Sterling, New York

Frederic Depoortere

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Brussels

Saar Dierckens

Senior Competition Counsel, Siemens, Munich

Johannes Erlandsson

Senior Economist, Market Abuse Unit, Swedish Competition Authority (KKV), Stockholm

Giulio Federico

Head of Unit, Chief Economist Team, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels

David Foster

Frontier Economics, London

Simon Genevaz

Information, Communication and Media Unit, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels

Catriona Hatton

Baker Botts, Brussels

Bojana Ignjatovic

RBB Economics, London

Claire Jeffs

Slaughter and May, London and Brussels

Helen Kelly

Matheson, Dublin

Suyong Kim

Hogan Lovells, London

Stephen Kinsella

Sidley Austin, Brussels and London

Jonas Koponen

Linklaters, Brussels

Nicholas Levy

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Brussels and London

Frédéric Louis

WilmerHale, Brussels

Mark Powell

White & Case, London and Brussels

Andreas Reindl

Van Bael & Bellis, Brussels

Sascha Schubert

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Brussels

David Tayar

Clifford Chance, Paris

Gerwin Van Gerven

Linklaters, Brussels

David Wood

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Brussels

Programme

Day one - Tuesday, 4 July

13.30: Welcome coffee and registration

14.00: Chairs' welcome

John Davies, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Brussels and London
Benoît Durand, RBB Economics, Brussels and Paris

14.15: Keynote address 
Paul Csiszár, Director of Basic Industries, Manufacturing and Agriculture, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels

14.45: Antitrust across the Atlantic for the next four years how will it play out?

  • What conclusions about enforcement agendas can be drawn six months after President Trump’s inauguration?
  • Is it “Antitrust, Jim, but not as we know it”?
  • Will business have to consider the EU as the “bad cop” to the US’s “good cop”?
  • How different is the transition from the last Republican administration?
  • How similar is populist thinking to a focus on “fairness”?
  • What are the implications for US/EU cooperation on enforcement?

Moderator:
John Davies, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Brussels and London

Panel:
Paul Csiszár, Director of Basic Industries, Manufacturing and Agriculture, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels
Jessica Delbaum, Shearman & Sterling, New York
Suyong Kim, Hogan Lovells, London
Gerwin Van Gerven, Linklaters, Brussels

16.00: Coffee break

16.25: Guess who’s back: Article 102 everything you wanted to know but were too afraid to ask

  • Does the Commission still follow the guidance paper?
  • Exclusionary abuses after Google and Qualcomm: Where do we stand now?
  • Are exploitative abuses back on the agenda – and if so, how are they assessed?
  • Strategies for complaints: What are the best ways to attract attention?

Moderator:
Nicholas Levy, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Brussels and London

Panel:
Cristina Caffarra, Charles River Associates, Brussels and London 
Johannes Erlandsson, Senior Economist, Market Abuse Unit, Swedish Competition Authority (KKV), Stockholm
Helen Kelly, Matheson, Dublin
Frédéric Louis, WilmerHale, Brussels

17.40: Conclusion of day one

19.15 onwards: All delegates are invited to attend a drinks reception hosted by Hogan Lovells and an all-conference dinner hosted by Shearman & Sterling.

 

Day two – Wednesday, 5 July

8.00: Welcome coffee and registration

8.30: Chairs’ welcome

John Davies, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Brussels and London
Benoît Durand, RBB Economics, Brussels and Paris

8.45: Richard Whish’s The year in review

Richard Whish QC, Emeritus Professor, King's College London

Professor Whish will review the year just gone, emphasising the themes and trends behind the headlines – plus he will also consider the implications of Brexit for EU competition policy, including the effect on merger and antitrust investigations.

10.15: Coffee break                                             

10.35: Innovating theories of harm: Are horizontal mergers bad for innovation?

The Commission’s policy and recent case practice has increased its focus on the impact of mergers on innovation. 

  • What has made the Commission change its approach?
  • Do its theories of harm stand up to scrutiny?
  • Are there any rules emerging on how such mergers should be assessed?
  • And what commitments might work to remedy such concerns?
  • Which industries are most likely to be affected?
  • What can we learn from: Dow/Dupont, Teva/Allergan, Bayer/Monsanto?

Moderator:
Benoît Durand, RBB Economics, Brussels and Paris

Panel:
Fiona Carlin, Baker McKenzie, Brussels
Frederic Depoortere, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Brussels
Giulio Federico, Head of Unit, Chief Economist Team, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels
David Tayar, Clifford Chance, Paris

11.50: Doing deals – how to avoid gun-jumping and other procedural enforcement risks in the new environment

  • How can a buyer now protect the value of its investment between signing and closing?
  • Practical implications of Altice, Duke Energy and EY/KPMG for actions, information exchange, clean teams
  • Increased risk of failure to notify (China/Brazil)
  • Enforcement for provision of misleading information (Facebook/WhatsApp)

Moderator:
Sascha Schubert, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Brussels

Panel:
Margaret Segall D’Amico, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York
Saar Dierckens, Senior Competition Counsel, Siemens, Munich  Simon Genevaz, Information, Communication and Media Unit, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels
Andreas Reindl, Van Bael & Bellis, Brussels

12.50: Networking lunch                                              

13.40: New realities: Has competition policy caught up to the online marketplace?

  • Are competition authorities finally ready to accept online constraints on brick and mortar stores – and if so, what are the consequences for traditional analysis?
  • Algorithm pricing, artificial intelligence and collusion – should competition authorities be worried?
  • Online market place and the single market: Where to with geo-blocking?

Moderator:
Stephen Kinsella, Sidley Austin, Brussels and London

Panel:
Bojana Ignjatovic, RBB Economics, London
Claire Jeffs, Slaughter and May, London and Brussels
David Foster, Frontier Economics, London
Mark Powell, White & Case, London and Brussels

14.50: Coffee break

15.10: What’s in the toolbox now? What are the latest investigations techniques used by the agencies?

  • New techniques are being added – what are they and how to prepare?
  • Up to date experience from dawn raids
  • Differences between agencies – legal and cultural
  • Data privacy risks now and preparing for the general Data Protection Regulation
  • Merger control – how to handle huge document requests at short notice
  • Encroachment on legal professional privilege principles

Moderator:
Jonas Koponen, Linklaters, Brussels

Panel:
Elvira Aliende Rodriguez,
Shearman & Sterling, Brussels
Kate Collyer, Deputy Chief Economic Adviser, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), London
Catriona Hatton, Baker Botts, Brussels
David Wood, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Brussels

16.25: Chairs’ closing remarks

John Davies, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Brussels and London
Benoît Durand, RBB Economics, Brussels and Paris

16.30: Close of conference

 

Venue

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Brussels, Rue du Fossé-aux-Loups 47, Wolvengracht 47, 1000 Brussels, Belgium