The Future of EU/UK Competition Regulation

The virtual conference will examine two key topics. First, our lineup of expert panelists and keynote speakers will explore the potential impact of Brexit on the M&A market and regulatory environment. Second, we will illustrate how to manage ever increasing data volumes in the context of phase 2 proceedings, s.109 requests and other merger control investigations.

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Day 1 Keynote Address: Findings of the Competition Report

John Penrose MP was tasked by HM Treasury and BEIS to gather expert opinion and publish a short, independent report considering how the UK’s competition regime can be enhanced in the context of Covid-19 and the end of the Brexit transition period. Watch this session to hear his insights first hand.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said: "The UK’s competition policy is highly regarded around the world. Building on this reputation and our existing policy direction will be key as we recover from Covid-19. John Penrose’s work will help ensure that we can drive innovation, produce better outcomes for consumers and allow new entrants to the market to grow."

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: "Competition drives down prices, creates a wider choice for consumers and leads to better quality products and services. This review will ensure the UK’s competition regime is in the strongest possible position as we build back better from the pandemic and start our fresh new start outside of the EU – delivering for businesses and consumers in every corner of the UK."

John brought a unique perspective from his experience in business, understanding of everyday consumer issues from 15 years as a constituency MP and long-running interest in the subject.


Moderator:

  • Al-Karim Makhani – Vice President of Consulting and Information Governance, TLS

Speaker:

  • John Penrose MP

Panel 1: The Impact of Brexit on UK and EU Competition Proceedings 

This panel of senior antitrust lawyers explored how Brexit is impacting the M&A regulatory environment. The discussion covered what corporations should be prepared for when faced with parallel proceedings in the UK and EU, whether the CMA is truly the world’s most interventionist regulator (as many now claim) and the compounding effect of COVID-19 on changing political and socioeconomic dynamics (specifically in regards to the regulation of healthcare, supply chain, AI and technology M&A).

Moderator:

  • Alys Collins – Director of Business Development, TLS

Panelists:

  • Anna Mitchell – Partner, Linklaters
  • Frédéric de Bure – Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
  • Eleni Gouliou – Director of Mergers, Competition & Markets Authority
  • Matthew Sinclair-Thomson – Partner, Kirkland & Ellis

Day 2 Keynote Address: Rescue: From Global Crisis to Opportunity by Ian Goldin

Ian Goldin explained why he predicted a global pandemic was inevitable and showed how it will accelerate the transformation of globalisation, but not derail it. Key dimensions of globalisation were discussed, including supply chains, financial flows and investment, and other services including travel and digital flows. Ian identified the economic implications for different regions and sectors of the pandemic as well as the implications for the future of work, offices and data.

Ian considered the impact of the pandemic and underlying trends on societies, and changes in the relationship between governments and the private sector. The consequences for law and politics were considered, both at the national and global level. Ian examined the implications of Big Data and the technological revolution which seeks to keep pace through data analytics and artificial intelligence. In conclusion, Ian considered the implications for the legal profession.

Professor Goldin’s talk drew on his books, Age of Discovery: Navigating the Storms of Our Second Renaissance; The Butterfly Defect: Why Globalisation Creates Systemic Risk and What to do About it; and Terra Incognita: 100 Maps to Survive the next 100 Years. Further details can be found at https://iangoldin.org/.

Moderator:

  • Al-Karim Makhani – Vice President of Consulting and Information Governance, TLS

Speaker:

  • Ian Goldin – Professor of Globalisation and Development, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford

Panel 2: Leveraging Technology to Manage Big Data in Antitrust

Merger controls, dawn raids and other competition proceedings require comprehensive document production on accelerated timelines. In the Big Data era, the scope and timing of these proceedings create substantial obstacles for compliance and budgets. This panel demonstrated how to “fight fire with fire” – that is, how to deploy technology to combat ever-growing data volumes and constantly evolving data sources, and achieve success in competition matters.

Moderator:

  • Sasha Toussaint – Director of Strategic Accounts, TLS

Panelists:

  • Greg Bonné – Senior Associate, Latham & Watkins
  • Guillaume Aubron – Senior Associate, Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier
  • Bryant Isbell – Managing Director of Global E-Discovery and Data Advisory, Baker McKenzie
  • Katharine Perekslis – Vice President of Discovery Services, TLS

Panel 3: General Counsel Roundtable: Multi-National Competition Proceedings

During this session, a panel of three in-house competition lawyers representing Big Tech, the airline industry and the food and beverage industry discussed trends in European and British competition law and how those trends are impacting day-to-day business operations. Through this cross-sectoral discussion, we explored how recent developments have impacted the legal analysis of M&A work within and across their industries.

Moderator:

  • Daniel Meyers, President of Consulting and Information Governance, TLS

Panelists:

  • Michael Lukes – Legal Director of Competition, Regulation, and Compliance; Virgin Atlantic Airways
  • Hanna Danwall – Head of Competition Law, Carlsberg Group
  • Diogo Pereira – Competition Counsel, Facebook