CONFERENCES: MERGER CONTROL - INNOVATION - EFFICIENCIES - EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTS

Innovation and competition: Are mergers promoting innovation? (New Frontiers of Antitrust - Paris, 26 June 2017)

The question how mergers affect innovation has gained prominence in a number of recent merger cases. Accounting for the likely effects of mergers on innovation is difficult for a number of reasons, though. First of all, the relationship between market concentration and innovation is far from clear and not unambiguous. Secondly, while mergers may result in innovation efficiencies, these may be difficult to demonstrate, given that the European Commission requires the efficiencies to accrue in a timely fashion, i.e., within two to four years after the merger. Thirdly, remedies are notoriously difficult to design, and this is even more valid for innovation markets. The growing importance of innovation in our modern economies, in particular in the digital and petrochemical sectors, have led us to reconsider our analysis grid of the expected effects of the merger on innovation and the answers we could provide. Recent cases, which concern horizontal as well as conglomeral and vertical mergers, invite us to explore the limits of merger control and to find new ways of evaluating the effects a merger may have on the incentive and capacity to innovate (new tests, new standards to be adapted to different actors or sectors).

Propos introductifs Isabelle de Silva Présidente, Autorité de la concurrence, Paris 1. L’innovation est une composante essentielle de la dynamique concurrentielle. Elle favorise, dans le même temps, la croissance économique et le bien-être des consommateurs. 2. Sur le plan de l’analyse concurrentielle, on relèvera que la prise en compte de l’innovation peut conduire à nuancer les enseignements à tirer d’un faible chevauchement de parts de marché [1]. En outre, la relation concentration/innovation est ambiguë, puisqu’elle peut, dans certains cas, “accroître la capacité et l’incitation des entreprises à apporter de nouvelles innovations sur le marché et, partant, la pression concurrentielle sur les entreprises rivales pour innover sur ce marché. Inversement, la concurrence effective peut être entravée

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Isabelle de Silva, Justus Haucap, Innovation and competition: Are mergers promoting innovation? (New Frontiers of Antitrust - Paris, 26 June 2017), November 2017, Concurrences Review N° 4-2017, Art. N° 84946, www.concurrences.com

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