Opening Session with Mathias Cormann, Carmine Di Noia, Mario Monti and Clare Lombardelli
This session will include Opening remarks by Mathias Cormann, Secretary-General, OECD and Carmine Di Noia, Director, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD. Followed by a Keynote Speech by Mario Monti, Senator of Italy, Former EU Commissioner for Competition, Former Prime Minister, and Clare Lombardelli, Chief Economist, OECD. The 2024 edition of "OECD Competition Trends" will be also launched during the session.
Panel 1. The Consumer Welfare Standard in Enforcement Decisions
Competition authorities are currently faced with unprecedented challenges like the rising market power in digital markets, increasing issues with labour market, and competition role in the fight against climate changes. These challenges require enforcers to go back much more frequently to the basics, which are the goals of competition law and the standard that should be used to apply it.
The session will discuss these issues and get views from heads of competition authorities.
More information available here: oe.cd/adws
Panel 2. The Relationship between Competition and Innovation
While there is long-standing view that competition drives innovation and that innovation, in turn, drives higher welfare and economic growth, there is no theoretical consensus on the precise relationship between these two important components of a market economy. This session will explore the recent developments in this discussion from a theoretical perspective and how they translate into the way in which competition authorities have incorporated innovation as part of their enforcement activities.
The session will review different approaches competition authorities have used and could use to incorporate innovation when evaluating a transaction or determining if a certain behaviour is anti-competitive. This includes the assessment of innovation starting from the definition and analysis of relevant markets to the establishment of theories of harm, the consideration of efficiencies, the analysis of other drivers of innovation, and the design of remedies and commitments.
AuraGarcía Pabón (OECD)StephenLewis (RBB Economics)David J.Teece (Berkeley Research Group)Christine A.Varney (Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP)
11:45 - 13:45
13:45 - 15:00
Panel 3. Algorithms and Competition: friends or foes?
Algorithms are increasingly pervasive in our lives and firms increasingly rely on algorithms in their daily activities for pricing and planning purposes. Can algorithms enhance firms’ performances? Can they harm consumers? Can they be used to fix prices or to exclude competitors? What can competition authorities and regulators do to mitigate these risks? This panel of international experts from academia and enforcement agencies will discuss these and other fascinating legal and policy questions around algorithms.
More information available here: oe.cd/algc
AntonioCapobianco (OECD)MichalGal (Haifa University)Maarten PieterSchinkel (University of Amsterdam)RyanTansey (US DOJ)
15:00 - 15:15
15:15 - 16:30
Panel 4. Theories of Harm for Digital Mergers
The perceived underenforcement of digital mergers has been a topic of lively debate in recent years, following growing concerns around the aggressive acquisition strategies of major tech platforms. These have contributed to the rise and expansion of large digital ecosystems through which platforms have extended their reach and influence into markets far beyond their core services.
An emerging question in this discussion is whether, due to the unique characteristics of digital markets, traditional theories of harm can comprehensively capture the competitive harms arising from digital mergers. This includes the innovative and dynamic nature of such markets, as well as the role of ecosystems, which blurs the line between competing and complementary products and makes predictions about market outcomes more uncertain.
As such, through an exchange with an expert panel, this session will consider whether there is a need to further fine-tune traditional theories of harm or even develop new ones that are better suited to assessing mergers in digital markets, and the challenges that this may bring for competition authorities.
More information available here: oe.cd/thdm