Friday-Saturday, 1-2 February 2019, W South Beach, 2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL, 33139, United States

E-mail Tel: +44 20 3780 4137

Chairs

Margaret Sanderson

Vice President, Charles River Associates (Toronto)

Margaret F. Sanderson has in-depth experience analyzing the economic issues inherent in a wide range of mergers, antitrust/competition, class certification, damages, finance, energy, and telecommunications projects.

Jason Gudofsky

Partner, McCarthy Tétrault (Toronto)

Clients look to Jason to provide legal advice, devise strategies and offer creative solutions to achieve their business goals, whether it involves complex business transactions or governmental investigations, and he does so efficiently and responsively, always putting his clients’ needs first.

Past programme

Thursday, 1 February 2018

7.00pm - 9.00pm: Welcome reception - sponsored by Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Friday, 2 February 2018

7.30am - 8.30am: Registration / light breakfast

8.30am - 8.45am: Chairpersons' opening remarks

Margaret Sanderson, Vice President, Charles River Associates (Toronto)
Jason Gudofsky, Partner, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Toronto)

8.45am - 9.15am: Keynote address

Keynote speaker introduction:
Joshua Soven, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP (Washington, DC)

Keynote address:
Barry Nigro Jr., Deputy Assistant Attorney General, US Department of Justice (Washington, DC)

9.15am - 10.45am: Plenary: Economist roundtable

Economics is central to nearly every enforcement decision. In this panel, former FTC Bureau of Competition chief Debbie Feinstein, will moderate a discussion among senior economists from US agencies, DG Competition and smaller Asia-Pacific agencies, on what are the most important economic analyses of relevance. The panel will include discussion of UPPs and bargaining models, merger effects on innovation, economic approaches to cartel and bid-rigging detection, and the recently popularized view that antitrust should do more with respect to large technology firms.

Moderator:
Debbie Feinstein, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (Washington, DC)

Panel:
Svend Albaek, Deputy Chief Economist, DG Competition, European Commission (Brussels)
Lilla Csorgo, Head - Economics and Policy, Hong Kong Competition Commission (Hong Kong)
Gopal Das Varma, Charles River Associates (Washington, DC)
Michael Vita, Acting Director, Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission (Washington, DC) 

10.45am - 11.15am: Coffee break

11.15am - 12.30pm: (Concurrent sessions)

Merger: No predicted price increase: The entire story or just one act?

Merger analysis has increasingly begun to look beyond classical price effects to consider qualitative factors such as loss of opportunity, loss of choice, barriers to innovation etc. When would it be appropriate, if ever, for an antitrust agency to consider a remedy in a case where the only alleged competitive harm is a qualitative effect without any predicted price increase?

  • Are horizontal mergers bad for innovation? 
  • How can merger control procedures account for non-price effects where they do not occur alongside price effects?  Are there emerging norms worldwide for the treatment of non-price effects?
  • Which industries are most likely to be most affected in terms of innovation, choice and opportunity?

Moderator:
Joshua Soven, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP (Washington, DC)

Panel:
Matthew Bennett, Charles River Associates (London)
Susan Hutton, Stikeman Elliott (Ottawa)
Ken Isley, Advisor, Agriculture Division, DowDuPont (Brownsburg)
Nelson Jung, Clifford Chance LLP (London)
Matthew Reilly, Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Washington, DC)

Antitrust: Deterrence in cartel enforcement: Have we passed the breaking point, or is there room left to hurt?

This panel will consider the effect of deterrence on modern cartel compliance.

  • Headlines of ever increasing cartel fines and long jail sentences (and sentences from new jurisdictions) have receded.  What have we learned?
  • Has the run up in cartel fine levels and jail sentences caught the attention of clients?  Has business behaviour been changed as a result of a deterrent effect? 
  • What has been the effect of deterrence on modern compliance as opposed to other cultural and legal currents / developments that may have also encouraged compliance (e.g., improvements in corporate governance, changes in workplace culture / accountability, more diversity in the workplace, expansion of parent / subsidiary liability, etc.).

Moderator:
William Lavery, Baker Botts LLP (Washington, DC)

Panel:
Beau Buffier, Chief of Antitrust Bureau, Office of the Attorney General (New York)
Jeremy Calsyn, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP (Washington, DC)
Ulrich Denzel, Gleiss Lutz (Stuttgart and Brussels)
Barbara Rosenberg, Barbosa Müssnich Aragão (São Paulo & Rio de Janeiro)
Valerie Suslow, Professor and Vice Dean for Faculty & Research, The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School (Baltimore)

12.30pm - 2.00pm: Networking lunch sponsored by Baker McKenzie and lunchtime keynote address

Keynote speaker introduction:
D. Daniel Sokol, Professor, Levin College of Law, University of Florida (Gainesville)

Keynote address:
Bruce Hoffman, Acting Director, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission (Washington, DC)

2.00pm - 3.15pm: (Concurrent sessions)

Merger: Rethinking settlement in merger cases

In recent years, settling a merger case has become more difficult. Agencies worldwide have become much more particular about divestiture remedies, as they have become more sceptical of merger-related benefits. As a result, there is a perception among some in the bar that the list of demands from agencies has grown longer, even in cases where such demands may hamper efforts to resolve limited issues in otherwise very pro-competitive transactions. 

The FTC's recent review of merger remedies found that all divestitures ordered during the review period were successful in maintaining or restoring competition in the affected market. This panel will debate whether divestitures are ever an effective way to address concerns in horizontal versus whether the agencies ask too much of merging parties in reaching a settlement.

  • What are the panellist's views of the FTC's recent remedy study and the approach used by the Commission to evaluate its remedy orders?
  • What is the appropriate way to assess the impact and effectiveness of a divestiture in a merger case?
  • Do recent divestiture failures suggest that structural remedies are ineffective? What market characteristics suggest careful consideration should be given to whether a divestiture is effective? How can antitrust agencies make divestitures more effective in these cases?

Moderator:
Juan Arteaga, Crowell & Moring LLP (New York)

Panel:
Janet Hui, JunHe LLP (Beijing)
Anna Lyle-Smythe, Slaughter and May (Brussels)
Sharis Pozen, Vice President, Global Competition Law & Policy, General Electric (Washington, DC)
Christine Varney, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP (New York)
Gregory Vistnes, Charles River Associates (Washington, DC)

Antitrust: Market power in e-commerce platforms: Plausible or fantasy?

The modern economy is characterized by a number of online companies that are expanding their operations that touch multiple industry verticals. We have seen the emergence of a number of significant e-commerce platforms that have become ubiquitous. Are these platforms emerging as a potential issue for antitrust regulators or can e-commerce platforms never, as a practical matter, raise antitrust concerns?  How should antitrust regulation and enforcement apply to the emergence of these platforms? Issues to be considered include:

  • Is e-commerce a market on to its own - from either the purchase side or sell side, or is it, and will it always be, subsumed within a broader retail market? Can the analysis change when focusing on e-commerce platforms rather than the activity of selling products online? What is the appropriate approach to market definition when it comes to e-commerce and e-commerce platforms?
  • Will regulators apply traditional concepts of portfolio/conglomerate effects to e-commerce platforms and should they?
  • How should regulators approach economic power issues when considering significant e-commerce platforms - should they consider impacts on suppliers and workers as part of the traditional price/output antitrust analysis?
  • What do regulators need to do to ensure that any regulatory scrutiny and intervention preserves the benefits that large e-commerce verticals create for consumers and the incentives for e-commerce platforms to continue to innovate and become more efficient?
  • Do the EU and US (and other regimes) have the tools necessary to investigate and, if necessary, take action against perceived anticompetitive conduct undertaken by e-commerce platforms without unduly harming consumer welfare or innovation?

Moderator:
Mark Hamer, Baker McKenzie (Washington, DC)

Panel:
Bruce Hoffman, Acting Director, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission (Washington, DC)
Gunnar Kallfaß, Head of Unit, European and German Antitrust, Bundeskartellamt (Bonn)
Greg McCurdy, Director, Litigation and Global Competition Law, Uber Technologies (San Francisco)
Michael Salinger, Jacqueline J. and Arthur S. Bahr Professor of Management and Professor of Economics, Questrom School of Business, Boston University (Boston)
Maren Tamke, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (Berlin)

3.15pm - 3.45pm: Coffee break

3.45pm - 5.00pm: (Concurrent sessions)

Merger: Merger efficiencies: The great divide

With the exception of Canada, in most jurisdictions, including the US and EU, efficiencies are simply a factor in an integrated rule of reason analysis. Given recent decisions in the US, in which mergers were blocked despite cognizable gains to efficiencies, is the tide likely to turn? This panel will discuss whether efficiencies are likely to become a concern for the US agencies in antitrust analysis - and whether the ‘tipping point' is imminent.

  • How do policy objectives between countries differ with regards to considering efficiencies in antitrust analysis?
  • How have market trends towards liberalization impacted greater consideration of merger efficiencies?
  • How does increased emphasis on innovation impact the extent to which efficiencies are considered in antitrust analysis?
  • How do we define "consumer welfare" and how does this consideration impact efficiency?
  • How are anti-competitive effects and efficiencies quantified for the purposes of the efficiencies defence? How best are qualitative effects assessed and considered?
  • To what extent should cost saving efficiencies be considered in antitrust analysis?
  • Why shouldn't agencies consider out of market efficiencies?

Moderator:
Michael Knight, Jones Day (Washington, DC)

Panel:
Antonio Bavasso, Allen & Overy LLP (London)
Matthew Chiasson, Senior Competition Law Officer, Competition Bureau (Canada)
Michael Egge, Latham & Watkins LLP (Washington, DC)
George Paul, White & Case LLP (Washington, DC)
Margaret Sanderson, Vice President, Charles River Associates (Toronto)

Antitrust: Protectionism: How will it manifest itself in antitrust?

This panel will discuss the ways the rising tide of protectionism - seen in the election of Donald Trump in the United States, the successful "Brexit" vote and the success of non-major party candidates in French elections (as elsewhere)

  • If protectionism is to come to the fore, how are antitrust laws and their application likely to change in countries where leaders pursue policies of economic protectionism?
  • What will change about merger control, for both domestic and international mergers? What will change about enforcement, for both domestic and international conduct?
  • Is it likely that the protectionist wave will counteract the increasing international cooperation between agencies?

Moderator:
D. Daniel Sokol, Professor, Levin College of Law, University of Florida (Gainesville)

Panel:
Sir Christopher Bellamy QC, Linklaters LLP (London)
Rachel Brandenburger, Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for European & Comparative Law, University of Oxford (Oxford)
Ronan Harty, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (New York)
Greg McCurdy, Director, Litigation and Global Competition Law, Uber Technologies (San Francisco)
Randy Stutz, Associate General Counsel, American Antitrust Institute (Washington, DC)

5.00pm: Conclusion of day one

Evening: All delegates are invited to attend an all-conference dinner at The Forge Restaurant, sponsored by Charles River Associates.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

7.30am - 8.30am: Registration / light breakfast

8.30am - 9.00am: Keynote address

Keynote speaker introduction:
Marie-Cécile Rameau, Bredin Prat (Paris)

Keynote address:
Stanislas Martin, General Rapporteur, French Competition Authority (Paris)

9.00am - 10.15am: (Concurrent sessions)

Merger: Small mergers, big issues

As market dynamics shift, particularly in the technology sector, acquisitions that are small by revenues and/or assets standards may have increasingly large competitive effects. In an age where un-monetized data, or potential future disruption can be powerful market forces, are antitrust regulators asking the right questions?

  • Are current merger review thresholds appropriately capturing mergers involving small or nascent companies? Should regulators consider implementing new or separate thresholds (e.g. based on criteria other than revenues/assets) to capture such transactions?
  • What is the appropriate way for antitrust regulators to review mergers that may give rise to potential anticompetitive effects in the long-run? How far into the future can or should antitrust regulators look when evaluating competitive effects involving a small company operating in a rapidly changing technology sector?
  • How should antitrust regulators review mergers where there is no price competition (e.g. where a platform is free for consumers)? How can economists assist in quantifying anticompetitive effects of those mergers?

Moderator:
Debbie Salzberger, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Toronto)

Panel:
David Ernst, Antitrust and Competition Law Counsel, 3M (Minneapolis)
Jamillia Ferris, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (Washington, DC)
Jeffrey Prisbrey, Charles River Associates (Washington, DC)
Marie-Cécile Rameau, Bredin Prat (Paris)
Kirsten Webb, Clayton Utz (Sydney)

Antitrust: Online cartels: Algorithm or collusion?

The online economy has become increasingly sophisticated, raising questions about the extent to which automatic algorithms sophisticated data analysis can lead to inadvertent, or more sophisticated forms of collusion. As competitors and their algorithms gain deeper vision into each other's pricing strategies, is the potential for online cartel activity on the rise?

  • How has the flow of information and signalling between competitors changed in the wake of the rise of sophisticated data and algorithmic capabilities?
  • How are global competition enforcement agencies approaching algorithmic price setting?
  • Do the potential pro-competitive effects of sophisticated algorithms outweigh an increased capacity for collusion?
  • Are current antitrust laws equipped to deal with the growing potential for "automatic" or tacit collusion in a big-data world?

Moderator:
Ethan Litwin, Dechert LLP (New York)

Panel:
Kai-Uwe Kühn, Professor of Economics, School of Economics, University of East Anglia (Norwich)
Barry Nigro Jr., Deputy Assistant Attorney General, US Department of Justice (Washington, DC)
John Terzaken, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (Washington, DC)
Kevin Yingling, Senior Competition Counsel, Google (Washington, DC)
Susanne Zuehlke, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (Brussels)

10.15am - 10.45am: Coffee break

10.45am - 12.15pm: Plenary: Big data: Essentially yours or essential facility?

This panel will discuss antitrust issues that have arisen from various regulators' consideration of "big data", as well as other considerations related to the regulation of new business models.

  • When can data collection amount to a barrier to entry? How can antitrust authorities determine when data is non-rivalrous vs. proprietary?
  • How are antitrust theories of harm related to “big data” evolving and developing beyond barriers to entry?
  • What considerations must be made to determine which data are substitutes for others? Are there significant differences between mobile “observed” data, data that is attached to an event or user interaction, and "static"/”persistent” data from an antitrust or market definition perspective? What characteristics of a data set raise foreclosure concerns?
  • When does "big data" become an essential facility?
  • Who owns data? Is antitrust the best tool to tackle “big data” issues or is privacy law necessarily a key component?
  • How do machines “learn”, and what are the differences between basic machine learning and artificial intelligence? Are all “data” created equal, e.g. the “new oil” for these purposes?
  • Is a so-called “efficiency offense” – i.e. a call to “level the playing field” by opening a company’s data set to competitors – an appropriate policy from an economic or legal perspective?

Moderator:
Logan Breed, Hogan Lovells International LLP (Washington, DC)

Panel:
Claudia Berg, Senior Legal Director, Antitrust Enforcement, Competition and Markets Authority (London)
Cristina Caffarra, Charles River Associates (Brussels and London) 
Kojiro Fujii, Nishimura & Asahi LPC (Tokyo)
Greg Sivinski, Assistant General Counsel, Antitrust, Microsoft Corporation (Redmond)
Ingrid Vandenborre, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (Brussels)

12.15pm - 12.45pm: Keynote address

Keynote speaker introduction:
Miguel del Pino, Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal (Buenos Aires)

Keynote address:
Esteban Greco, President, National Commission for Competition Defence (CNDC), (Argentina)

12.45pm: Chairpersons' closing remarks and networking lunch

Venue

W South Beach, 2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL, 33139, United States

Testimonials

  • "A very strong event" 

  • "I found it very interesting for law firms and lawyers both EU & US. As a Colombian lawyer it was good to be updated on antitrust issues in other countries"

  • "Learned a lot that I can immediately apply in practice."