INTERVIEW: ANTITRUST - MERGER - STATE AID - PROCEDURES - GUN JUMPING - DIGITAL ECONOMY

Margrethe VESTAGER, European Commission: Reflections on the landmark cases

The mandate of EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is slowly reaching an end. Undoubtedly it has been remarkable by the number of large scale merger, antitrust and state aid cases that made the headlines across both sides of the Atlantic. In this interview, Commissioner Vestager discusses the importance of the observance of procedural obligations in EU competition proceedings by the European Commission and by parties, the guidance that the Altice decision offers as to what would constitute gun jumping, the EU and US methodological approaches to the assessment of non-horizontal mergers and the use of internal documents in recent merger cases as indication of a gradual evolution of the European Commission’s merger review. Commissioner Vestager also discusses the role of competition law in an increasingly digitised economy and the European Commission’s antitrust enforcement priorities under President Juncker’s Commission.

Interview conducted by Ingrid Vandenborre, Partner, Skadden, Brussels. As Commissioner Vestager starts the final year in her mandate, Ingrid Vandenborre asked her to reflect on the landmark decisions and initiatives that have marked her term. Merger control Gun jumping: There has been increasing enforcement action in relation to alleged gun jumping both at the European Commission and at the Member State level (e.g., Altice). For a period of four years since the last gun jumping matter—i.e., Marine Harvest in 2014—there was less focus it seems on potential gun-jumping issues. Before that, enforcement of gun-jumping violations dated back to 2009. Similarly, the European Commission only recently enforced for the first time the process provisions that penalise the submission of misleading

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Ingrid Vandenborre, Margrethe Vestager, Margrethe VESTAGER, European Commission: Reflections on the landmark cases, November 2018, Concurrences Review N° 4-2018, Art. N° 88073, pp. 12-16

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