EU enforcers clash over regulating the digital world

08 October 2019

Competition enforcers across Europe are divided over whether ex ante regulation is necessary to tackle market power in the digital economy.

Microsoft VP: enforcers need a test for data sharing

Microsoft VP: enforcers need a test for data sharing

08 October 2019

Antitrust enforcement can “shift the culture” in technology companies, but it is often not the best way to remedy harms in the digital economy, a senior Microsoft official has said.


Gunnar Niels

Oxera, Oxford

Gunnar leads Oxera’s work in competition policy and litigation, with more than 20 years’ experience in the field covering mergers, agreements, abuse of dominance, damages and state aid. He has advised companies such as Deutsche Bahn, Nokia, Mars, Belgacom and Mastercard, as well as government bodies and the European Commission.  Gunnar has provided expert testimony before courts in a range of jurisdictions, including the UK, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, South Africa and New Zealand, and has presented at oral hearings in European Commission inquiries. Gunnar is currently a non-governmental adviser (NGA) to the International Competition Network (ICN) Working Group on Unilateral Conduct.

Paul Lugard

Baker Botts, Brussels

Paul Lugard is a Brussels-based EU and international competition lawyer. His practice focuses on complex merger review proceedings and investigations into alleged anticompetitive business practices. He has counselled some of the world's leading companies on strategic cooperation agreements, platform competition and technology licensing agreements. His areas of experience include the application of the antitrust laws to high technology sectors, including R&D, standardization, patent pools and licensing of SEPs. Paul was a senior vice president and the Head of Antitrust at Royal Philips Electronics from 2005 until 2012.  He is the Chair of the ICC Competition Commission and serves as an NGA to the ICN and as Vice Chair of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD.

Avantika Chowdhury

Oxera, London and Brussels

An economist with broad experience in competition cases and disputes, Avantika leads Oxera’s work in matters involving intellectual property and antitrust including in technology sectors and pharmaceuticals. She focuses on abuse of dominance aspects and on alleged anti-competitive agreements in an IP context and across a range of sectors, including in the context of private litigation and investigations by competition authorities. Avantika’s clients include AstraZeneca, ASML, Google, Pfizer, Tesla, Nokia, Sandoz, Skyscanner and Unwired Planet and she has advised on standard-essential patent licensing, collaboration agreements and other licensing issues for patents, copyright and trademarks, FRAND valuation and reasonable royalties, damages from injunctions/infringement, and other aspects such as antitrust investigations into patent settlements in the pharmaceutical sector. She has published widely on antitrust and valuation issues, and regularly lectures in courses for competition authorities and Judges and in international conferences.

Keynote Speaker

John Frank

Vice President, European Union Government Affairs, Microsoft, Brussels

John Frank is Vice President for EU Government Affairs at Microsoft, leading a team of government affairs professionals across Europe to advance public policy in the areas of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and privacy.   He was previously Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Chief of Staff to Brad Smith at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond Washington.  From 1996 to 2002, John Frank led Microsoft’s legal and corporate affairs group for Europe, Middle East and Africa, based in Paris.  John was centrally engaged in Microsoft’s competition cases in Europe from start to finish.   Prior to joining Microsoft, John Frank was an attorney at Skadden in San Francisco.


Pinar Akman

Professor of Law, University of Leeds, Leeds

Benno Buehler

Charles River Associates, Brussels and Munich

Giulio Federico

Head of Unit, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels

Miguel Perez Guerra

Senior Competition Counsel, Google, London

Karen Jelgerhuis Swildens

Senior Legal and Competition Counsel,, Amsterdam

Thomas Kramler

Head of Unit of C.6 Antitrust: E-commerce and data economy, European Commission, Brussels

James Kress

Baker Botts, Washington DC

Andrea Pezzoli

Head of Competition, AGCM, Rome

Henri Piffaut

Vice President, French Competition Authority, Brussels

Andreas Reindl

Van Bael & Bellis, Brussels

Matthias Schneider

Chief Patent Licensing Officer, Audi AG, Ingolstadt

Kassie Smith QC

Monckton Chambers, London

Martijn Snoep

Chairman, Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets, The Hague

Pat Treacy

Bristows, London and Brussels

Ingrid Vandenborre

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Brussels

Koren Wong-Ervin

Director of Antitrust & IP Policy, Qualcomm; Senior Expert and Researcher, University of International Business and Economics, China and Academic Advisor, China's University of Political Law & Science, Washington DC


8.30: Welcome coffee and registration

9.00: Chairs’ morning welcome
Paul Lugard, Baker Botts, Brussels and 
Avantika Chowdhury, Oxera, London and Brussels

9.15: Morning keynote address

John Frank, Vice President, European Union Government Affairs, Microsoft

10.00: Licensing of SEPs: same old or brave new world? The practitioners’ perspective

The panel will debate the key issues in SEP licensing with reference to the latest cases and judgments from jurisdictions around the world, including Unwired Planet v Huawei, TCL v Ericsson, Qualcomm v FTC and the European Commission’s decision in Qualcomm. Questions to be addressed include: Can national courts determine global licences, as in Unwired Planet and in TCL? How can courts ensure consistency of global licences across jurisdictions when other courts are considering the same patents and licensing rates? Are the approaches applied by competition authorities consistent with the approaches of courts? The panel will also discuss the licensing of SEPs for Internet of Things applications and the impact of recent cases.

Avantika Chowdhury, Oxera, London and Brussels

Matthias Schneider, Chief Licensing Officer, Audi AG
Koren Wong-Ervin, Director of Antitrust & IP Policy, Qualcomm; Senior Expert and Researcher, University of International Business and Economics, China and Academic Advisor, China's University of Political Law & Science, Washington DC
Pat Treacy, Bristows, London and Brussels
James Kress, Baker Botts, Washington DC

11.00: Coffee break

11.30: Dominance, abuse and FRAND analysis. An economist hot tub

This ‘hot tub’ session will see two economic experts debate the economic aspects of antitrust and FRAND assessments for SEPs, representing the perspectives of licensors and licensees, and moderated by a ‘judge’, Questions addressed by the experts include: How can one assess dominance and abuse in the presence of FRAND commitments? Are non-FRAND rates necessarily an abusive? When is the ‘ND’ in FRAND violated and when is it an abuse? What are the key issues in assessing FRAND rates?

Kassie Smith QC, Monckton Chambers, London

Gunnar Niels, Oxera, Oxford
Benno Buehler, Charles River Associates, Munich and Brussels

12.15: Mergers and innovation: two years on from Dow/DuPont

We are two years on from the heated debates about mergers and innovation in Dow/DuPont. What has happened since to mergers in innovative markets? What is the Commission’s current thinking? A senior economist from DG Competition explains.

Giulio Federico, Head of Unit, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels

13.00: Networking lunch

14.15: Digital platforms, data, innovation and market power

This panel will discuss the latest issues relating to market power and competition risks in the world of digital platforms. The panel will discuss the roles of data, algorithms, innovation and IP, and bundling and vertical integration in the consideration of competition issues in the digital economy, including their relevance for market power, consumer harm and for design of remedies. These issues will be covered from a legal, economic and technical perspective and with reference to cases such as Google, Amazon and Facebook.

Paul Lugard, Baker Botts, Brussels

Miguel Perez Guerra, Senior Competition Counsel, Google, London
Pinar Akman, Professor of Competition Law & Director of Centre for Business Law and Practice, University of Leeds
Andreas Reindl, Van Bael and Bellis, Brussels
Karen Jelgerhuis Swildens, Senior Legal and Competition Counsel,, Amsterdam

15.15: Coffee break

15.45: Agency roundtable: Antitrust, privacy and fairness in digital markets

Representatives of national competition authorities will provide their perspectives on competition policy in digital markets now and in future. This panel will provide insights from various market studies, application of competition policy and the interaction with other laws, the emerging approach towards merger control and ‘killer acquisitions’, and the latest on the options for platform regulation.

Ingrid Vandenborre, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Brussels

Andrea Pezzoli, Director General, Competition, AGCM, Rome
Henri Piffaut, Vice President, French Competition Authority, Brussels
Martijn Snoep, Chairman, Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets
Thomas Kramler, Head of the Digital Single Market Task Force, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels

17.00: Chairs’ closing remarks
Paul Lugard, Baker Botts, Brussels and 
Gunnar Niels, Oxera, Oxford

17.10: Drinks reception sponsored by Oxera

Hotel Amigo, Rue de l'Amigo 1-3, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Ticket prices

Private Practitioner
Type Price Until
Super Early € 400 23 Aug 2019
Early € 500 20 Sep 2019
Standard € 900 8 Oct 2019


Type Price
Standard €0