TRUSTEES & MERGER REMEDIES : THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION OVERVIEW
Ulrich von Koppenfels (DG COMP)
Mr. von Koppenfels drew on his experience as a member of the Merger Case Support and Policy Unit at DG COMP. He fi rst recalled that the Commission intervened in approximately 14% of all merger control decisions, either in the form of remedies or prohibitions. Divestiture remedies, which are by and large the Commission’s preferred remedy, serve as the benchmark for assessing the effectiveness of other types of remedies. Next to the clear-cut divestiture of an existing, stand-alone business, more complex types of divestitures can also be conceived of in specific cases (e.g., carve-outs, re-branding, divestiture of IPRs). He noted that the Commission is willing to consider access remedies (e.g., slot release) in appropriate cases, if they are as effective as structural remedies, and if they are likely to be taken up. Mr. von Koppenfels insisted on the importance of the trustee’s role and responsibilities in ensuring a smooth implementation of commitments, since the Commission cannot check each and every divestment and needs the trustee to be its “eyes and ears”. That is especially relevant in the case of carve-outs, which need to be constrained by strict safeguards.