Rome 27-28 June 2013
The Economics of Merger control
What we talk about when we talk about mergers

  Day 1 (June 27, 2013)  

9:30 - 10:00 - Welcome coffee and registration

10:00 - 10:30
Keynote Speech by Giovanni Pitruzzella (Chairman of the Italian Competition Authority - AGCM)

10:30 - 12:30 - Session I

Reflections upon the past and the future of merger control
A panel of current and former regulators discuss key past developments and look to the future. The policy objectives in antitrust merger control, the action of the European Commission and the experience of other Competition Authorities, the merger control during the financial crisis and the priorities for the future are some of the issues that will be covered by the panelists.

Chair: Tommaso Salonico (Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP)
  • Beatriz de Guindos Talavera (Deputy Director, CNC)
  • Roberto Chieppa (Secretary General, AGCM)
  • Martin Cave (Deputy Chairman, UK Competition Commission)


14:00 - 16:00 - Session II

Unilateral effects
Merger simulations have been introduced in the academic literature several years ago. More recently, a new set of tests to predict ex ante the price effects of mergers, so-called UPP tests, have been proposed. Critiques have been raised against both techniques. In the first part two distinguished economists discuss strengthens and weaknesses of the two approaches. The second part of the Session host some chief economists from major European agencies who comment on the application of these tools to real-world cases.

Chair: Marco D’Ostuni (Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP)

14:00 - 15:00 - I° Part: Merger simulations and UPP in theory
  • Thibaud Vergé (CREST-LEI)
  • Joseph Farrell (University of California and Bates White)

15:00 - 16:30 - II° Part: Merger simulations and UPP tests in practice
  • Chris Walters (Chief Economist, OFT)
  • Andrea Pezzoli (Chief Economist, AGCM)
  • Marc Ivaldi (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Toulouse)

16.30 - 17.00 - Coffee Break

17:00 - 19.00 - Session III

Coordinated effects
In the recent years the European Commission intervened solely, or mainly, on the basis of coordinated effects in very few cases. Did the standard of proof - set by the Court of Justice in its judgment Sony/BMG v Impala - makes too difficult to challenge a merger on the ground of coordinated effects? Is there any difference with the standard of proof adopted in the US? The panel addresses these and other questions, and discusses recent developments in estimating the coordinated effects of mergers (merger simulation and UPP-like tests for coordinated effects).

Chair: Luca Aguzzoni (Senior Consultant, Lear)
  • Giulio Federico (DG Comp - European Commission)
  • Marc Ivaldi (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Toulouse)
  • Leslie M. Marx (Duke University)
  • Joseph Farrell (University of California and Bates White)


  Day 2 (June 28, 2013)  

9:30 - 11:00 - Session IV

Non-horizontal Mergers
Since the Non-horizontal merger guidelines issued in 2008 the European Commission has investigated a number of mergers that raised vertical or conglomerate concerns. What are the main lessons learnt? Is there any major gap in the Guidelines? A panel comprising economists a Commission’s official discusses recent contributions in the literature as well as cases occurred on the two sides of the Atlantic, focusing on the economic reasoning and empirical tools that can be of help in analyzing the welfare effects of non-horizontal mergers.

Chair: Veronica Pinotti (Partner, Head of Italian EU Competition & Regulatory Practice, McDermott Will & Emery)
  • Patrick Rey (University Toulouse I)
  • Dennis Carlton (University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, David McDaniel Keller)
  • Per Hellström (Head of Unit, Merger Energy and Environment, DG Comp, EC)

11:00 - 11:30 - Coffee Break

11:30 - 13:30 - Session V

The Ex-Post evaluation of the merger control decisions
Competition authorities need to scrutinize closely the effectiveness and appropriateness of their decisions. The ex-post evaluation of merger control decisions is an important aspect of this scrutiny. Which technical tools are available to perform this task? What limitations arise in the construction of the counterfactual scenario? What is the current practice at Competition Authorities to review ex-post the merger control interventions? This session aims at answering these and other relevant questions.

Chair: Giancarlo Spagnolo (University of Rome Tor Vergata and SITE)
  • Tomaso Duso (DIW Berlin & Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics)
  • Daniel Hosken (Deputy Assistant Director for the Office of Applied Research and Outreach in the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Economics).
  • Robin Finer (Director of Economic Analysis at the UK Competition Commission)
  • Stephen Davies (University of East Anglia, Norwich)


15:00 - 16:30 - Session VI

Remedies in mergers
Many mergers are cleared through the approval of remedies. Several issues arise around the use of remedies: the adoption of structural versus behavioral remedies, the risk of inconsistency in case of multiple filings, the need for remedies to be market tested, the difficulties in monitoring compliance with merger remedies. A multidisciplinary panel tackles these issues from different perspectives.

Chair: Thomas Hoehn (Imperial College Business School London)
  • Bruce Lyons (University of East Anglia)
  • John Ratliff (Partner, Wilmerhale)
  • Christian Ewald (Chief Economist, Bundeskartellamt)

16:30 - 17:30 - Interview with Kai-Uwe Kuhn (Chief Economist, DG Comp - European Commission)

Interviewer: Massimo Motta (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, newly appointed Chief Economist, DG Comp)

Possible topics/arguments
  • Is merger simulation back? What is the Commission’s position on UPP tests?
  • Are efficiencies really counted in merger analysis? Did they play an important role in recent cases?
  • Coordinated effects of the mergers: facilitating factors checklists vs. other more quantitative approaches?
  • Best practices in presenting economic evidence: what are the aspects on which improvements are more needed?
  • The role of the CET: less check&balance, more involved in the day-to-day management of cases.


Presentations will be either in English or in Italian but simultaneous translation will be available

Italian lawyers get 11 credits from the BAR Association for attending