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The dialogue was centered around merger regulation in the U.S. with the new draft guidelines, and in the EU, but labor markets and poaching were also part of the discussion.
Key differences between US and European antitrust approaches
- While there is a strong commonality between the US and Europe on digital markets, other priorities may differ: European enforcers are relatively more focused on climate change and sustainability while US enforcers are relatively more focused on labor markets and worker rights, although some European agencies have built a strong practice in this field.
- There is no doubt that antitrust law can apply to labor markets, as for example, decisions by firms on the labor market can be collusive, but that is not a widespread discussion in Europe, where labor laws are much more prominent.
The need for proactive enforcement
- As the antitrust landscape is rapidly evolving, there is a need to maintain and modernize existing antitrust instruments while enforcing new ones.
- The European antitrust toolbox has been considerably strengthened in recent years with the ECN directive, Digital Markets Act, and new developments in merger control. A shift of focus from creating new laws to enforcing existing ones effectively is suggested, as a way to answer a need for consistency.
- Monitoring emerging developments for future challenges, such as AI and the green economy (as exemplified in France by ongoing market studies on land transports and the electric vehicle charging market), is of utmost importance to address new competition questions and market structure changes.