Past event

Conference

Politicization of Competition Policy

Myth or Reality?

Chatham House, London

Overview

In a context of low economic growth and rising protectionism, are regulators sufficiently immune to political pressures when making decisions on cross-border mergers, state aid approvals or antitrust enforcement? Is competition policy globally becoming politicized or, on the contrary, are companies seeking to avoid legitimate antitrust enforcement by claiming that competition policy is becoming politicized?

This conference will consider recent cases and policy developments, and debate the impacts on free markets, consumers, and economies.

The Chatham House Rule 
To enable as open a debate as possible, this conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule

Twitter
Suggested Hashtag: #CHCompetition

Pricing 

General Counsel of major companies may register at the standard government department rate.

For any questions about which rate applies to you, please call +44 (0)20 7314 2782.

                       FULL RATE
 EXCL. VATINCL. VAT
Major corporate member rates  
All organizations£575£690
Corporate member rates  
Commercial organizations£1,150£1,380
Government departments£680£816
NGOs and academics£445£534
Standard rates  
Commercial organizations£1,255£1,506
Government departments£725£870
NGOs and academics£495£594
 

Thursday 18 June
09:30

Chair's Opening Remarks
William E Kovacic, Global Competition Professor of Law and Policy; Professor of Law; and Director, Competition Law Center, The George Washington University

Opening Keynote Speaker (On the record)
Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition, European Commission 

Session One | Mergers and the Public Interest
10:10-11:20

This session will examine the role of governments and regulators in the context of corporate acquisitions.

  • What is the stated purpose of the ‘public interest tests’ in various jurisdictions and how are they applied in practice?
  • Has the implementation of public interest tests been free from politicization? Even if not politicized, does the application of public interest tests inevitably lead to perceptions of politicization?
  • Can an anticompetitive merger ever be in the public interest? Can a procompetitive merger ever be not in the public interest?
  • Is protecting companies from foreign competition ever in the national interest, for example in conditions of slow economic growth? How do EU member states enforce foreign investment rules and how do these fit with internal market considerations? What is the impact of government protectionism on investor confidence? 

Chair
William E Kovacic, Global Competition Professor of Law and Policy; Professor of Law; and Director, Competition Law Center, The George Washington University

Discussants
Bruno Lasserre, President, French Competition Authority
Sharis Pozen, Vice President, Global Competition and Antitrust, General Electric
Jorge Padilla, Senior Managing Director and Head of Compass Lexecon Europe
Wolfgang Kopf, Senior Vice President for Public and Regulatory Affairs, Deutsche Telekom

11:20–11:50 Refreshments

Session Two | European State Aid Policy: A Tool to Bring Forward Policy Change?
11:50-13:00 

State aid control is an inherently political arena. This session will explore to what extent state aid control should be used to bring about policy change.

  • Is the legal framework of state aid enforcement still adequate, i.e. two treaty articles and a very lean procedural regulation with the practical rules set out in lengthy guidelines? What is the right balance between legal certainty/foreseeability and scope for political intervention? 
  • What are the implications of the European Commission’s investigations into the tax rulings on foreign companies of some EU Member States? Will they facilitate tax harmonization in the EU? 
  • What are the implications of the European Commission’s recent guidelines on energy and the environment and investigations in the energy sector? Will they reduce government support to renewables? How do they interact with governments’ energy policy choices?

Chair
Damien Neven, Professor of Economics, The Graduate Institute, Geneva; Chief Economist, DG COMP, European Commission (2006-11)

Discussants
Gert Jan Koopman, Deputy Director General State Aid, European Commission
Graham Weale, Chief Economist, RWE Group
Michel Petite, Of Counsel, Clifford Chance 
Lorenzo Coppi, Executive Vice President and Head of the Brussels Office, Compass Lexecon 

13:00-14:00 Lunch

Session Three | Aligning Antitrust Enforcement with Broader Policy Goals
14:00-17:30

If it works well, competition policy should boost innovation and encourage investment. However, it can also be used to further other economic policy goals. Focusing on key sectors, speakers will examine the impact of antitrust enforcement and other regulatory interventions on competition. Should industrial or other government policy objectives ever override competition policy priorities? 

Chair
Thomas Vinje, Partner, Clifford Chance

Keynote Speaker (On the record)
William Baer, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, US Department of Justice  

Discussion 

  • What are the respective enforcement priorities of the Japan Fair Trade Commission and China’s National Development and Reform Commission under their new leaderships? What have both agencies learnt from their recent enforcement activities?

Hiroyuki Odagiri, Commissioner, Japan Fair Trade Committee

Zhu Zhongliang, Director of Competition Policy and International Cooperation Division, National Development and Reform Commission, China

15:30-16:00 Refreshments

Moderated discussion 

  • How can confidence be raised that antitrust investigations are not being used to protect companies from foreign competition?
  • Do internal market considerations justify the European Commission’s approach to enforcement in parallel trade and territorial exclusivity?
  • Are antitrust investigations related to patents designed to fix an IP law problem? To what extent do they affect the courts’ ability to make judgments on intellectual property issues?

Chair 
Thomas Vinje, Partner, Clifford Chance 

Discussants
Dimos Dakanalis, Chief Antitrust Counsel, Oracle Corporation
David Tudor, General Counsel - Global Transaction Ecommerce, Naspers
Julia Holtz, Director, Competition, Google  

17:00 Closing Keynote Speaker (On the record)

Alex Chisholm, Chief Executive, Competition and Markets Authority, UK

17:30 Close of day and drinks reception hosted by Chatham House

© The Royal Institute of International Affairs 2015

Keynote Speakers

Speakers

Lorenzo Coppi to speak at the Chatham House Globalization of Competition Policy 2016 conference

Lorenzo Coppi

Executive Vice - President and Head of the Brussels Office, Compass Lexecon

Dimos Dakanalis

Chief Antitrust Counsel, Oracle Corporation

Julia Holtz speaking at Chatham House Competition 2015 conference

Julia Holtz

Director, Competition, Google

Gert Jan Koopman

Deputy Director General State Aid, European Commission

Wolfgang Kopf

Senior Vice President, Group Public and Regulatory Affairs, Deutsche Telekom AG

William Kovacic to speak at the Chatham House Globalization of Competition Policy 2016 conference

William E Kovacic

Global Competition Professor of Law and Policy; Professor of Law; Director, Competition Law Center, The George Washington University

Bruno Lasserre

President, French Competition Authority

Damien Neven

Professor of Economics, The Graduate Institute, Geneva; Chief Economist, DG COMP, European Commission (2006-11)

Hiroyuki Odagiri

Commissioner, Japan Fair Trade Commission

Jorge Padilla to speak at the Chatham House Globalization of Competition Policy 2016 conference

Jorge Padilla

Senior Managing Director and Head, Compass Lexecon Europe

Michel Petite

Avocat of Counsel, Clifford Chance

Sharis Pozen

Vice President, Global Competition and Antitrust, General Electric

David Tudor speaking at Chatham House Competition Policy 2015 conference

David Tudor

General Counsel – Global Transaction eCommerce, Naspers

Thomas Vinje to speak at the Chatham House Globalization of Competition Policy 2016 conference

Thomas Vinje

Partner and Chair of Antitrust Practice, Clifford Chance

Graham Weale

Chief Economist, RWE AG

Zhu Zhongliang to speak at Chatham House Competition 2015 conference

Zhu Zhongliang

Director of Competition Policy and International Cooperation Division, National Development and Reform Commission, China

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, please contact Alison Archer on +44 (0)20 7314 3643 or email aarcher@chathamhouse.org.

         

 

If you are interested in becoming a media partner for this event, please contact David Pagliaro on +44 (0)20 73142 782 or email dpagliaro@chathamhouse.org.

Venue

Chatham House
10 St James's Square
London
SW1Y 4LE
UK
conferences@chathamhouse.org

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7957 5729
Fax: +44 (0)20 7957 5710

If you wish to book the venue for your own event please phone +44 (0)20 7314 2764

Directions
The nearest tube station is Piccadilly Circus which is on the Piccadilly and the Bakerloo Underground lines. From Piccadilly follow Regent Street southwards towards Pall Mall and take the first road on the right called Jermyn Street. Duke of York Street is the second road on the left and leads to St James's Square. Chatham House is immediately on your right.

Map

Accommodation
Although we cannot book accommodation for delegates, we have arranged a reduced rate at some nearby hotels, where you can book your own accommodation. Please inform the hotel that you will be attending a conference at Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) to qualify for the Institute's reduced rate.

Please note all rates are subject to availability.

Flemings Mayfair
Half Moon Street
Mayfair
London - W1J 7BH

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7499 2964
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7499 1817

Standard Single from £199 + VAT

The Cavendish London
81 Jermyn Street
London - SW1Y 6JF

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7930 2111
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7839 2125

Standard Single £205 + VAT

Book The Cavendish online

The Stafford London by Kempinski
St James's Place
London - SW1A 1NJ

Tel: 020 7518 1125
Fax: 020 7493 7121

Standard Single £230 +VAT

This conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Information for journalists.

Press can request a press pass.