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Ingrid Vandenborre moderated the discussion.
There are currently several trends and challenges in EU merger control, with respect to i) jurisdictional/procedural issues, ii) substantive considerations on the assessment of mergers and iii) remedies.
These issues arise against the following backdrop: Firstly, competition authorities as well as many academics have underlined the need to be vigilant on market concentration. The recent crisis has also reinforced the need to build a competitive economy and to ensure that there is innovation. Secondly, the digital transformation of the economy creates new issues on the markets that competition enforcers need to tackle even if they are unprecedented.
One should also bear in mind the specificities of European merger control, which is essentially an administrative process in which the Commission must take decisions, whether positive or negative, on the compatibility of merger transactions, all of which are challengeable before the Courts. The Commission has to make serious and complex assessments, be consistent in the way it looks at markets, and be prepared to be challenged in Court, whether the decision is negative or positive.