Paul Lugard welcomed the audience and presented the different panels. He underlined the current debates in the field of antitrust and mergers, and the main legal questions that are being raised.
OPENING KEYNOTE SPEECH (by Martijn Snoep)
In his opening statement, Martijn Snoep asserted that the hottest topic was not necessarily antitrust but trust. 10 years ago, only a few realized the issues triggered by the digital technology, not only in terms of impact on individuals’ autonomy and privacy but also in terms of effects on competition. Concerns have then risen, and people now expect governments and independent agencies to police digital companies actively and to protect markets and the interests of citizens. The trust in apps and, beyond the digital area, in the proper functioning of markets, has significantly decreased : the general public no longer believes that markets generate fair outcomes for them. This is a serious issue : in order for markets to function well, people must have trust in the latter and in the government (including competition authorities).