Recent Publications

Trustees in Mergers: An overview of EU and national case law, Foreword to the e-Competition special issue on trustees in mergers, 9 July 2021.


In this foreword, I reflect on the role of the monitoring trustee as the eyes and ears of a competition authority highlighting the main features in a typical merger remedy. I review both structural remedies such as divestures of businesses and business assets to an independent purchaser to restore or maintain competition, and behavioural remedies which can take various forms ranging from hold-separate obligations to access commitments and long-term supply or purchase agreement to enable third parties to preserve competition.  Then I discuss a number of challenges that trustees increasingly face particularly in innovation intensive industries where several major mergers that have been scrutinised worldwide leading to often very complex remedies. I draw on my experience as monitoring trustee (both structural and behavioural remedies) for the European Commission, the FTC as well as other national competition authorities, and as a former member of the Remedies Panel of the UK Competition & Markets Authority.

 

Recent Publications

Merger Remedies: An overview of recent EU case law, Foreword to the e-Competition special issue on merger remedies, 20 May 2021.

I am pleased to have been asked to write the foreword to this timely publication. In my last foreword published three years ago, I provided an overview of the recent enforcement practice and use of remedies in EU merger control by highlighting key cases and policy developments particularly in the area of merger control in innovation and R&D intensive industries and with respect to the increased application of behavioural remedies. In this foreword, I will similarly review the sectoral trends in global mergers  as well as highlighting key national cases that were subject to remedies.  I then discuss the continued trend towards adopting behavioural remedies and another important trend by competition authorities to review compliance with remedies leading in some instances to significant fines for breaches of commitments. On the policy front the major development was the concerted effort by all major competition authorities to come to grips with the competition issues raised in the digital economy leading to increased actions by competition authorities and proposals for new competition tools by the EU in December 2020.  I will conclude with a brief discussion what these policy developments mean for merger remedies going forward.

 

Recent Publications

Cities and Trade, Chapter 6 in: The Handbook of Global Trade Policy, (Andreas Klasen, editor), John Wiley, 2020.

In this chapter I analyse the development of the global economy and its trading system through the perspective of cities as major centres of economic, social and cultural exchange which, I argue, represent important economic and political entities beyond the countries in which they are located. I discuss how international trade and trade policies have shaped the development of major cities and their economies and how these cities in turn have shaped and influenced the structure and development of global trade.

 

Recent Publications

Challenges in Designing and Implementing Remedies in Innovation Intensive Industries and the Digital Economy, Chapter 7 in: Remedies in EU Competition Law, Substance, Process and Policy, (D Gerard and A Komninos eds), Wolters Kluwer, 2020.

As Monitoring Trustee, I have observed an increase in complexity at several levels requiring more time and resources to ensure effective implementation of merger remedies. I advocate that purchaser reviews in EC merger control are enhanced and extended, particularly in complex up-front merger divestiture remedies that require careful economic analysis of competition and innovation incentives and independence of potential purchasers. This raises the question whether overly complex cases should be rejected as too big-to-fix.  To avoid this dramatic step leading to more prohibition decisions, I support the published ex-post reviews and the potential modification of remedies to obtain more assets post-closing.

 

Recent Publications

Challenges in designing and implementing merger remedies – a monitoring trustee perspective’, Revista de Concorrência e Regulação, Ano X, Número 39, julio – setembro 2019, pp. 15–34.

As Monitoring Trustee, I have observed an increase in complexity at several levels requiring more time and resources to ensure effective implementation of merger remedies. I advocate that purchaser reviews in EC merger control are enhanced and extended, particularly in complex up-front merger divestiture remedies that require careful economic analysis of competition and innovation incentives and independence of potential purchasers. This raises the question whether overly complex cases should be rejected as too big-to-fix.  To avoid this dramatic step leading to more prohibition decisions, I support the published ex-post reviews and the potential modification of remedies to obtain more assets post-closing.