Thursday, 8 November 2018, Düsseldorf, Germany

Overview

GCR Live will present the third edition of GCR Live Düsseldorf on Thursday, 8 November and are delighted to welcome Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt, to give the Keynote Address this year.

E-mail Tel: +44 20 3780 4220

Chairs

Ingo Brinker

Gleiss Lutz, Munich and Brussels

Ingo is head of the firm’s competition practice. He advises clients on German and European antitrust law, in particular in connection with merger control investigations and litigation, and compliance programms. Ingo has lead numerous important cases before the Federal Cartel Office and the European Commission as well as before the European General Court/European Court of Justice and the German antitrust courts. Ingo also has special knowledge of the insurance industry.

Thilo Klein

Compass Lexecon, London, Düsseldorf and Berlin

Thilo has more than ten years’ experience as an economic consultant, during which he has advised clients from a wide range of industries, in all fields of competition policy and in a variety of jurisdictions including the European Union, the UK, Germany, Austria, and countries in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, among others.

 

Keynote Speaker

Andreas Mundt

President, Bundeskartellamt, Bonn

Andreas Mundt has been president of the Federal Cartel Office since December 2009. After qualifying as a lawyer following studies at the University of Bonn and the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, he entered the Federal Ministry of Economics, where he worked from 1991 to 1993. He then joined the staff of the Free Democratic Party in the German parliament from 1993 to 2000, where he was in charge of the portfolio of labour and social law. In 2000, Andreas Mundt joined the Federal Cartel Office as rapporteur, with responsibility for banking and card payment systems issues. He was head of the international section from 2001 to 2005 and director of general policy from 2005 to 2009.

9.00: Welcome coffee and registration

9.30: Chairs’ opening remarks  

Ingo Brinker, Gleiss Lutz, Munich and Brussels
Thilo Klein, Compass Lexecon, London, Düsseldorf and Berlin

9.45: Keynote address

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt, Bonn

10.15: Recent developments in merger control

In 2017, a new transaction-value threshold was introduced into the German merger control regime, with the aim of catching potentially anticompetitive deals in digital markets that do not meet the existing turnover thresholds. How should lawyers apply the new thresholds? How should they interpret “transaction value” and quantify a target company’s “substantial domestic operations”? Do the new thresholds overreach in trying to close the “WhatsApp gap”? Five years after the introduction of the SIEC test into German law, what has the impact been? Has there been harmonisation between the decision-making practices of the Bundeskartellamt and the Commission? Has there been an increase in the application of economic analysis? Have there been gap cases, and are theories of dominance and collective dominance still “en vogue”?

11.30: Coffee break

12:00: Consumer protection and competition law

A new Bundeskartellamt Consumer Protection division was established in 2017, empowered to launch sector inquiries in this area. Since then the authority has scrutinised online price-comparison websites and the online-advertising market, examining anticompetitive concerns related to online platforms such as Facebook and Google. This panel discusses issues at the threshold between competition enforcement and consumer protection and asks if both should ever be mixed. It also addresses policy considerations at the EU level, in particular the EU Commission’s (DG COMP and DG Connect) recent proposal to regulate platforms – Platform to Business and also Platform to Customer – with a view to strenthening data privacy, transparency, and non-discrimination. 

13.15: Networking lunch

14.15: Criminal investigations, settlement procedures and fines

Earlier this year, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court upped a €5 million fine imposed by the Bundeskartellamt against Dirk Rossmann to €30 million. Will that decision increase the temptation for claimants to privately pursue this case? In the sausage cartel case, the agency failed to reveal some relevant aspects of the matter, amongst them the existence of a leniency applicant. What does the case mean for the future development of criminal investigations and for settlements? What are the actual challenges in settlement procedures, in particular in France?  Post-Brexit, what are the risks of extradition from the EU and from the UK to the US?

15.30: Coffee break

15.50: Latest developments in competition litigation

This panel will discuss recent developments and trends in competition litigation in Germany and other countries. What has been the courts’ stance with respect to applying presumption rules, depending on the type of infringement? Which types of economic analyses used to quantify damages have been presented by the parties, how did the choice of methodology depend on the circumstances of the case, and how have courts evaluated the evidence? How has the case law on pass-on and indirect purchases evolved? Has the introduction of more claimant-friendly disclosure rules as a consequence of the Damages Directive led to changes in the strategies of claimants and defendants? What have been the challenges of bringing stand-alone (as opposed to follow-on) cases from a legal and from an economic perspective?  

17.05: Chairs’ closing remarks

Ingo Brinker, Gleiss Lutz, Munich and Brussels
Thilo Klein, Compass Lexecon, London, Düsseldorf and Berlin

17.15: Close of conference

Düsseldorf, Germany