Global Merger Control Conference 2016

Conference organised by Concurrences in partnership with Dechert, Advolis and McKinsey.


Introductory remarks

Mélanie Thill-Tayara introduced the 2016 conference, focussing on two major aspects of global merger control which have recently been in the spotlight, both in Europe and in the United States. Firstly, new trends emerge with the development of the digital economy and online markets, which have an effect on competition dynamics in a given market. The impact of online markets has notably been taken into account by the French Competition Authority in its recent Fnac/Darty decision, whereby it considered, for the first time in France, that online sales and classic brick and mortar sales belong to the same product market. Secondly, some recent mergers, notably in the digital economy or pharmaceutical sectors, have led the European Commission to identify what it called an “enforcement gap”. This evolution led to a global reflexion, initiated in 2014 with the Commission’s White Paper and which is still on-going, on the necessity to revamp the European merger control thresholds in order to review mergers which, although they do not meet the current thresholds, may nonetheless have a significant impact on European markets. Ms. Thill-Tayara finally insisted on the growing importance of remedies, which have become more frequently used to secure clearance of a transaction. They are also a challenge for companies when it comes to ensuring and monitoring their effective implementation. It is therefore highly recommended that they are well prepared, with, as the case maybe, the early involvement of consultants and economists.

Photos © Léo-Paul Ridet

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