7-8 February, 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 LLP (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.

Keynote Speakers

Ian R. Conner

Deputy Director, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission (Washington, DC)

Richard A. Powers

Deputy Assistant Attorney General, The United States Department of Justice (Washington, DC)

Thursday, 6 February 2020

7.00pm - 9.00pm: Welcome reception - hosted by McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Friday, 7 February 2020

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, McCarthy Tétrault LLP (Toronto)

8.45am - 9.15am: Keynote address

Richard A. Powers, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, The United States Department of Justice (Washington, DC) 

9.15am - 10.45 am: Plenary: Back to the drawing board: Is it time for a radical overhaul of antitrust law?

This panel asks whether antitrust’s narrow scope necessitates regulation to deal with broader policy concerns, or if antitrust should be “dialed up” to play a larger role in policing how companies and consumers transact in digital markets.

  • How much does existing precedent prevent antitrust from addressing concerns that do not fit neatly within previously established models of leveraging market power through tying, exclusion or foreclosure? To what extent should (and can) antitrust deal with “unfair” bargains involving dominant companies, including accumulation and exploitation of user data?
  • What are the best strategies for enforcement agencies? Are the standards of proof and timeframe for analysis in antitrust optimal to advance these longer-term objectives?
  • Do agencies need new powers such as ex ante regulation, in addition to enforcement? Where and to what extent should governments or enforcers use antitrust law to advance other policy goals?

10.45am - 11.15am: Coffee break

11.15am - 12.30pm: (Concurrent sessions)

Mergers: Merger review retrospective 

Review of high-profile mergers and key developments in merger control from 2019. 

Antitrust: Data, Data Everywhere: defining “Big Data” issues

This panel will discuss more specific issues for Big Data and how it challenges traditional antitrust analysis, taking into account different types of data and data-related contexts.

  • Are sets of consumer data required for targeted advertising or customisation a barrier to entry or a step to dominance, or are they competitively neutral? What characteristics define how these data sets should be viewed?
  • How should assessment of data-related activities differ from the consumer data case where data is significantly less interchangeable, such as geolocation data in automotive, industrial and/or Internet of Things applications?
  • How does antitrust analysis need to shift when dealing with data cases? Will privacy law limit scope for antitrust authorities to require data-sharing? What remedies such as access obligations are required, and how can they be monitored effectively?  Can breaches of data privacy law by dominant companies also be the basis of an antitrust infringement?

12.30pm - 2.00pm: Networking lunch and lunchtime keynote address

2.00pm - 3.15pm: (Concurrent sessions)

Mergers: Remedy issues: A skeptic’s guide

This panel will debate the issues surrounding behavioural remedies for mergers, as well as the downsides of structural remedies such as the difficulty of finding viable divestiture buyers who will maintain innovation, or even manage to stay in business.

  • Is scepticism of behavioural remedies warranted? Can they be paired with structural remedies more frequently? How can the difficulty of monitoring and enforcing behavioural remedies be alleviated?
  • Should enforcers be bolder in imposing remedies as an alternative to regulation? Are remedies such as data release and data portability the best way forward?
  • When might an otherwise financially viable divestiture buyer raise concerns in innovation or other contexts?

Antitrust: Is global leniency in a death spiral?

This panel will look at the health of leniency and immunity programmes, which have long been a linchpin of the criminal antitrust process. But today, they are being criticised for violating the “Golden Rule” under which applying for leniency leaves a company better off than refusing to cooperate with the government.

  • Does the lack of new major international cartel cases signal that companies are compliant now, or that they are not self-reporting because the costs of leniency are outweighing the benefits?
  • Does the Department of Justice’s new, more holistic model focusing on prevention rather than deterrence signal the end of leniency as we know it? Will it be effective, and how will new approaches to leniency affect a company’s incentive to fight cartel charges?
  • If traditional leniency is the right model, what is the impact of agency transparency on willingness to pursue leniency applications and cooperate? Do we need to do more to protect the ‘first in’ immunity applicant from follow-on claims to encourage applications?

3.15pm - 3.45pm: Coffee break

3.45pm - 5.00pm: (Concurrent sessions)

Mergers: “Killer Acquisitions” and other anticompetitive deals: Should antitrust do more to protect emerging challengers?

This panel will debate whether a new policy approach or legal framework is warranted to address the unique challenges posed by mergers involving nascent competition.

  • How should enforcers determine whether the acquisition of a small company – especially one with minimal revenue – will harm competition in a relatively new market?  Do we need new legal tests that find competition problems based on a “balance of harms” rather than a “balance of probabilities”?
  • What aspects of competition other than innovation/pipeline (for example, competition for “talent”) should be considered in the competitive effects analysis? 
  • How should enforcers balance the harm that may result from removing an upstart as a competing company, with the potential gains to consumers from that upstart receiving increased resources to develop its products?

Antitrust: Platform Antitrust

This panel will consider key antitrust issues that arise for platform operators and their users, including price setting, algorithms, collection of information, competition between a platform, its suppliers and its users, data portability, and interoperability; and remedies for antitrust violations – including structural break-up.

  • How does the type of digital platform affect the practices in which it engages and the antitrust concerns it raises?
  • Is there any way short of constant investigation and/or regulation that antitrust authorities can keep these markets competitive and open for new entry and innovation?

5.00pm: Conclusion of day one

Evening: All delegates are invited to attend an all-conference dinner, hosted by Charles River Associates.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

7.30am - 8.30am: Registration / light breakfast

8.30am - 9.00am: Keynote address

Ian R. Conner, Deputy Director, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission (Washington, DC)

9.00am - 10.15am: (Concurrent sessions)

Mergers: Magical thinking: Considering modern theories of harm

This panel will consider how to articulate theories of harm in merger reviews before different triers of fact, as sophisticated economic projections of prices, output and leverage are debated, in contrast to reliance on the old standards of market shares.

  • Has there been a blurring between any harm and “substantial” harm – particularly where there might be a small price increase – or has “substantial harm” put too high a burden on enforcers? What is the right time frame for considering competitive effects, including entry, investment and innovation?
  • How should economic theories of harm and efficiency be presented to courts and tribunals?
  • How are enforcers addressing geographic market definition, including considering a global market?

Antitrust: Recent trends in antitrust and IP enforcement

This panel will investigate how enforcers and courts worldwide are grappling with the intersection of competition and intellectual property law and policy, particularly as they diverge even within countries, as the DOJ’s amicus briefs in FTC v Qualcomm case demonstrated.

  • Under what circumstances should breaches of FRAND commitments be viewed as antitrust violations, as opposed to simple breaches of contract? How does one distinguish FRAND royalties from royalties for standard-essential patents that result from anticompetitive “patent hold-up”? Should remedies in patent cases be constrained so as not to stifle innovation, or should enforcers and private litigants be free to vigorously contest allegedly anticompetitive behavior with regard to SEPs?
  • Does the conflict between the FTC and DOJ in Qualcomm indicate a fundamental difference in the agencies’ approaches, or is the DOJ position unique to this administration or this case? Does the European Commission’s willingness to assert competition laws to protect against FRAND violations suggest a divergence with US agencies?

10.15am - 10.45am: Coffee break

10.45am - 12.15pm: Plenary: Economist plenary

12.15pm: Chairpersons' closing remarks

Margaret Sanderson, Vice President, Charles River Associates (Toronto)
Jason Gudofsky, Partner, McCarthy Tétrault LLP (Toronto)

12.30pm onwards: Close of conference and Closing Lunch hosted by Shearman & Sterling LLP

Venue

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

Testimonials

  • "This conference brings together top practitioners and academics to explore topical issues in antitrust" - Cecile Kohrs, TIG Advisors

  • "In general, discussion was very good and lively" -Etienne Chantrel, Autorité de la concurrence 

  • "The conference provides updated and useful information on key issues and trends" - Xavier Rosales, CorrelRosales

  • Overall of high level. Mergers & digital economy was a particularily interesting session... Porter Elliott, Van Bael & Bellis

 

Private Practitioner
Type Price Expires
Super Early $1525 29 Nov 2019
Early $1725 17 Jan 2020
Standard $1950 07 Feb 2020

 

In-house/government rate
Type Price
Standard $0