Global Competition Policy
Politics, Brexit and challenging the consensus
The UK’s exit from the European Union and a Trump presidency in the US will have major implications for the global competition and antitrust policy arena. The UK’s withdrawal from the Single Market post-Brexit and the stated intent of President Trump to pursue an ‘America first’ principle in trade matters, risks fragmenting the global consensus on competition regulation as a public interest objective, and politicizing competition policy frameworks through the pursuit of protectionist measures that prioritize national interests. In addition, national public sentiments are increasingly at odds with the principles underpinning globalization and global business, with potential repercussions for the future direction of competition policy and regulation.
The annual Chatham House Competition Policy conference will address what these major political and populist developments mean for competition policy-making frameworks, and how they may reshape existing approaches to regulation, as well as the rules governing merger controls, state aid and antitrust enforcement.
Continuing Professional Development
6 CPD hours are available for delegates attending this event, as per the Bar Standards Board’s CPD Provider Accreditation Scheme.
For professionals regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, 6 CPD hours are available for delegates that remain opted into the 16 hours annual CPD requirement.
The Chatham House Rule
To enable as open a debate as possible, this conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule.
Pricing and booking information
General Counsel of major companies may register at the standard government department rate.
Ways to book:
- Online: Click here to complete the online registration form
- Phone: Call Dora Rencoret on +44 (0)20 7314 2785
- Email / Post: Download a PDF registration form, complete and return to Charlotte Laycock via email or post: Chatham House, 10 St. James’s Square, London, SW1Y 4LE
|Partners and major corporate members|
|Standard corporate members|
|NGOs and academics||£460|
|NGOs and academics||£510|
Your delegate pass includes:
- Conference attendance
- Lunch and refreshments
Travel and accommodation are not included. View a list of recommended hotels here.
Friday 16 June
Session One | Political Developments and Global Approaches to Competition Policy
This session will explore how major political shifts, competing national political priorities, waning efforts on trade liberalization, and rising anti-globalization sentiments are affecting competition policy and antitrust regulation.
- In light of recent political events, how can a global consensus on competition policy as an important public interest objective be preserved?
- To what extent will the US adopt a more traditional approach to competition policy issues? What will an ‘America first’ policy principle mean in practice for US trade relations and US organizations responsible for antitrust policy and enforcement?
- How will Brexit affect the ability of European competition authorities, particularly in the UK, to play a role in the wider global policy-making framework? What will it mean for collaboration between national authorities?
- Are the UK’s interests best served by remaining aligned with current EU competition guidelines? To what extent can the UK act as a ‘free agent’ outside the Single Market? Can it aspire to play a similar role to the US and China in the global competition policy community?
- What does the loss of political momentum on TTIP and TPP mean for competition law and regulation?
11:00 – 11:30 Refreshments
Session Two | Global Antitrust Enforcement
This session will explore how a post-Brexit legal order and a Trump administration will affect co-operation on antitrust enforcement and investigations into potential abuses of market dominance.
- How might antitrust enforcement under the Trump administration differ from previous administrations? Will it adopt a more activist strategy?
- Will the UK follow a traditional free-enterprise approach to antitrust? If so what would this mean for competition tribunal judgements in the UK?
- Could Brexit lead to a more prosecutorial model of antitrust enforcement, with a greater emphasis on individual liability?
- How can international co-operation on antitrust enforcement continue to be fostered? How will information be shared between the UK and the EU or the UK and US?
- Post-Brexit, what is the likelihood of parallel antitrust investigations in the UK and the EU?
1300 – 1400 Lunch
Session Three | Implications for State Aid
This session will focus on state aid policy, an area where Brexit creates considerable potential for divergence, and what the tension between national and international policies will mean for existing frameworks governing state aid.
- How will Brexit affect the institutional limits of the state aid framework? Will the UK’s industrial strategy lead to a more interventionist approach from government as it adopts a more active role?
- Will compliance with state aid rules be a condition of any trading arrangement between the UK and EU and under what circumstances can it be achieved, given the uncertainty and complexity surrounding the post-Brexit transition?
- Can a harmonized approach to state aid be maintained without a trade agreement or do such politically charged decisions require a common framework?
- What would a change in the approach to state aid in the UK mean for EU investigations, such as preferential tax treatments in member states for international businesses?
- What would the absence of stringent state aid rules in the UK mean for local and international businesses?
15:30 – 16:00 Afternoon refreshments
Session Four | Politics, Mergers and the Public Interest
This session will assess the political climate for merger activity and how industrial policies may affect merger reviews and the use of public interest tests.
- What is the prevailing political and public appetite for global mergers in Europe and the US? Does the contemporary political mood signal a swing towards greater enforcement and anti-merger policies, and will merger decisions become increasingly politicized?
- How will the relationship between industrial and competition policies shape merger reviews post-Brexit? Will the use of public interest tests become more widespread? What would this mean for the EU Merger Regulation?
- Will the UK take advantage of potential new freedoms to utilize public interest tests? What is the risk that conflicting approaches and decisions may damage competitive markets or result in an anti-competitive environment?
- Post-Brexit, to what extent might the UK emerge as an important jurisdiction for merger reviews?
- How will major European economies approach the issue of maintaining competitive markets versus protecting politically important industries?
1730 Close of conference and drinks reception
© The Royal Institute of International Affairs 2017
Member, UK Competition Appeal Tribunal
Kelyn Bacon QC
Brick Court Chambers
Acting Chief Executive, Competition and Markets Authority UK
Paulo Burnier da Silveira
Commissioner, Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), Brazil
Isabelle de Silva
President, Autorité de la concurrence
Partner, Clifford Chance
Abbott ‘Tad’ Lipsky
Acting Director, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, US
President, Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO)
Senior Counsel, Competition, The Coca-Cola Company
Martín Moguel Gloria
Commissioner, Federal Economic Competition Commission Mexico
Carles Esteva Mosso
Deputy Director General for Mergers, DG Competition, European Commission
Associate General Counsel, Spotify
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, please contact
Kamil Hussain on +44 (0) 20 7957 5732
If you are interested in becoming a media partner for this event, please contact
Amy Smith on +44 (0)20 7957 5755
10 St James's Square
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7314 2785
Fax: +44 (0)20 7957 5710
If you wish to book the venue for your own event please phone +44 (0)20 7314 2764
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.
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.
Half Moon Street
London - W1J 7BH
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7499 2964
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7499 1817
Standard Single from £195 + 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
The Stafford London
St James's Place
London - SW1A 1NJ
Tel: 020 7518 1125
Fax: 020 7493 7121
Standard Single £235 +VAT
The Savoy London
London - WC2R 0EU
Tel: 020 7836 4343
Fax: 020 7240 6040
Standard Single £250 +VAT