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 global mergers have been cleared subject to sometimes 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 UK Competition & Markets Authority.
Thomas Hoehn is the founding Director of Antitrust & TradeRx GmbH. From 2009 - 2017 Thomas was a Panel Member of the UK Competition and Markets Authority. He was a Visiting Professor at Imperial College Business School, London from 2003 to 2009 directing the Executive MBA Programme. In 2009 he established the Intellectual Property Research Centre At Imperial College he taught courses on Business Economics, Smart Cities and Intellectual Property and continues to teach in its Executive Education programmes. For ten years until November 2009 Thomas was Lead Partner of the Economics practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers UK and now is an affiliate of NERA Economic Consulting in London and Berlin and a Senior Advisor to Mazars LLP, London. In the course of his economics consulting career since 1984, Tom has advised clients on over 100 assignments and presented expert evidence in antitrust proceedings across Europe. Tom’s consulting experience includes assisting Microsoft in the implementation of the 2004 Commission decision. Thomas Hoehn regularly acts as a Monitoring Trustee for the European Commission and has experience leading over 35 monitoring trustee assignments in Europe, the US and China. His cases include major multi-jurisdictional mergers and the oversight of long-term behavioural remedies (GE/Instrumentarium, Cisco/Tandberg, GE/Avio, Telefónica/E-Plus). Tom has also acted as Monitoring Trustee in national merger cases and as Interim Monitor in the US (GE/Avio). He has also collaborated closely with his US counterpart (Interim Monitor) in multijurisdictional cases (Procter & Gamble/Gillette and Pernod Ricard/V&S). He is an accredited CEDR mediator. He has published widely and led research projects on merger and competition relevant topics. His published research included the review of the national merger remedies practice in 400 merger clearance decisions across 30 European countries. The result of his research on interoperability remedies was published in the European Competition Law Review in February 2013. Thomas previously held teaching and research positions the University of Zurich and the London School of Economics. He completed a Masters in Economics, from the London School of Economics and obtained his first degree at the St. Gallen Graduate School of Public and Business Administration of Economics.
384 | Events
Over the last three years, merger control has remained an active area of antitrust enforcement in Europe as well as other parts of the world. The global merger boom of the last few years has continued even if it lost some momentum from mid-2018 onwards. According to a report by EY, global M&A in 2020 was tracking below 2019’s value, but still was expected to rank fifth for value of deals in the post-global financial crisis period.
Merger control remains an active area of antitrust enforcement in Europe as well as other parts of the world. The global merger boom of the last few years continues to raise significant challenges for enforcers, not least through the recent mega-mergers in the pharmaceuticals, agrochemical and IT industries.
The operation The Oberösterreichische Rundschau Gruppe (OÖ Group) publishes several weekly newspapers in Upper Austria. Moser Holding AG (Moser) is not yet active in the region but does publish the weekly freesheet "Bezirksblätter" in several regions, some of them bordering Upper Austria. (...)
The operation Telekom Austria AG is the incumbent telecommunications provider in Austria. eTel Austria (eTel) is a full range telecommunication services provider with a focus on business customers and fixed line services. The proposed acquisition of eTel by Telekom Austria was notified to (...)
The operation Espace Media Group SA (EMG) through Berner Zeitung AG and Tamedia AG were planning to acquire through a joint undertaking stakes in the free daily newspaper ‘20 Minuten’. EMG is active in newspaper publishing, the electronic media sector, local radios and internet (...)
The operation Styria Medien AG intended to increase its share in ET Media (ETM) from 16.8 % to more than 50 %. The Styria Group publishes amongst others the daily newspapers "Die Presse" and "Kleine Zeitung". ETM predominately publishes business and woman magazines such as "New Business", (...)
Since its creation in 2004, the journal Concurrences has been organizing a colloquium. The topics covered have naturally been varied: from the adaptation of the French system to Regulation 1/2003 to the place of competition in the Treaty of Lisbon, through banking and finance issues and the (...)
The credibility of the system of merger control relies on the fact that firms comply with the remedies. The importance of this issue has been increased by the development of behavioural remedies and by the increasing complexity of the different types of structural remedies. In this context, (...)