19 mai

3rd International Mergers Conference

Date & lieu

Jeudi 19 mai de 09h00 à 18h30 BST

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University College London

Bentham House | 4-8 Endsleigh Gardens

WC1H 0EG London United Kingdom
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Welcome & Breakfast




Deni MANTZARI | Associate Professor - Competition Law and Policy, Co-Director - Centre for Law, Economics and Society, Faculty of Laws, University College London (bio)



Recently, many competition agencies have changed their merger control processes to go towards more digitalization. Faster and simpler merger control is still on the agenda with the European Commission launching an initiative in this regard, and the French and Russian agencies updating their merger guidelines in the last two years. In addition, the assessment of mergers is facing new developments with the emergence of new theories of harm (sustainability, animal welfare, labour etc.), perils and pitfalls of market definition in different sectors (healthcare, digital, media etc.), ex post studies and follow-on transactions. How to make the most of these new processes, and what is yet to be achieved ?

Marc ISRAEL | Partner, White & Case, London (bio)
Rameet SANGHA | Senior Vice President, Compass Lexecon, London (bio)
Marie-Claire STRAWBRIDGE | Partner, Morrison & Foerster, London (bio)
Björn VROOMEN | Deputy Director for Competition - Mergers, Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), The Hague (bio)

Moderator : Ioannis LIANOS | President, Hellenic Competition Commission | Professor of Global Competition Law and Public Policy, Faculty of Laws, University College London (on leave) (bio)

Coffee break




The fate of conglomerate merger control appeared sealed when the European Commission included a strong presumption of legality in favour of conglomerate concentrations in its 2008 non-horizontal merger guidelines. Although conglomerate mergers are not generally a central issue in the application of competition law, some studies suggest that the development of the digital market may lead conglomerate mergers to more competition problems. This discussion was held by the OECD on 10 June 2020 and also highlights the development of new conglomerate theories of harm. Moreover, these dispositions as well as the withdrawal by the FTC of the vertical merger guidelines on 15 September 2021 show that these guidelines need to be updated to better-reflect market realities.

Andy PARKINSON | Senior Vice President, Compass Lexecon, London (bio)
Colin RAFTERY | Senior Director of Mergers, Competition & Markets Authority, London (bio)
Caroline HOBSON | Partner, Cooley, London (bio)

Moderator : Nicholas LEVY | Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, London (bio)





The 2020, December 24 announcement that the European Union and the United Kingdom had reached an agreement in principle on a new Trade and Cooperation Agreement was greeted with sighs of relief on both sides of the Channel. This is also vaguely reinforced by the necessity for the UK and the UE to cooperate and coordinate in merger control, as stated in the TCA. In the meanwhile, the end of the EUMR jurisdiction in the UK creates significant uncertainty and the urge for a new framework.

Sorcha O’CARROLL  | Senior Director - Mergers, UK Competition and Markets Authority, London (bio)
Tim LAMB | Director & Associate General Counsel - Competition & Regulatory, Meta, London (bio)
Matthew LEVITT | Partner, Baker Botts, London (bio)
David READER | Lecturer in Competition and EU Law, Newcastle University | Senior Fellow, Melbourne Law School (bio)
Joshua WHITE | Vice President, Analysis Group, London (bio)

Moderator : Ioannis KOKKORIS | Professor, Queen Mary University, London (bio)

Coffee break




The European Commission has shifted its approach with respect to the referral mechanism under Article 22 of the EUMR and now – at least in certain circumstances – encourages referrals from Member States even where the national filing thresholds are not met. However, the guidance provided on this article does not provide a precise definition of what cases may be subject of a referral. Will these new guidelines lead to too frequent and not sufficiently justified control of companies’ operations ?

Antoine CHAPSAL | Managing Principal, Analysis Group, Paris/Brussels/London (bio)
Étienne CHANTREL | Head of Mergers Unit, Autorité de la concurrence, Paris (bio)
Catriona HATTON | Partner, Baker Botts, Brussels (bio)
James WEBBER | Partner, Shearman & Sterling, London (bio)

Moderator : Deni MANTZARI | Associate Professor - Competition Law and Policy, Co-Director - Centre for Law, Economics and Society, Faculty of Laws, University College London (bio)



* to be confirmed

If you would like to read about this event’s topic, you can access the following Concurrences documents. If you do not have access, please inquire for Subscription here.

Panel 1 : Latest developments in mergers assessment : What consequences on substance and procedure ?

1- Anthony S. Ferrara, Hannelore Wiame, Jon B. Dubrow, Joel R. Grosberg, Lisa P. Rumin, David Henry, Antitrust M&A Snapshot, 5 May 2022

2- Alain Ronzano, Public consultation : The European Commission gains broad support for further simplification of procedural aspects of merger control, 3 December 2021

3- German Competition Authority, Australian Competition Authority, UK Competition Authority, The UK, German and Australian Competition Authorities agree on a joint statement on merger control, 20 April 2021

4- Neil Cuninghame, Denis Fosselard, Peter Armitage, Nigel Parr, Christopher Eberhardt, Mergers & COVID-19 : The impact on EU and national merger control, 23 April 2020

5- Kristien Geeurickx, Stephen Wisking, Veronica Roberts, The UK Competition Authority publishes guidance on its approach to merger control during the COVID-19 pandemic, 22 April 2020

Panel 2 : Conglomerate mergers : Still waters run deep ?

1- Thomas O. Barnett, Anne Y. Lee, Terrell McSweeny, The US FTC and DoJ launch a joint public inquiry into the agencies’ horizontal and vertical merger guidelines in order to decipher whether the guidelines properly implement the statutory ban on transactions that may substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly, 18 January 2022

2- Frédéric Jenny, Competition law enforcement and regulation for digital ecosystems : Understanding the issues, facing the challenges and moving forward, September 2021

3- US Federal Trade Commission, The US FTC withdraws vertical merger guidelines to prevent industrial and judicial reliance on unsound economic theories, 15 September 2021

4- OECD, The OECD holds a roundtable on conglomerate effects of mergers, 10 June 2020

Panel 3 : Brexit : The day after

1- Louise Aberg, United Kingdom : The CMA post-Brexit, November 2021

2- Christopher Hutton, Christopher Peacock, Matt Giles, The UK Government announces a series of proposed reforms to competition law enforcement aiming to produce a “best in class” competition regime to allow the UK to exploit post-Brexit opportunities, 20 July 2021

3- Saskia King, Ariane Le Strat, The UK Competition Authority publishes its revised Merger Assessment Guidelines along with a quick guide complementing the revision of its Guidance on jurisdiction and procedure, 18 March 2021

4- Agnès Mouterde, Brexit and Competition Law, Barry RODGER and Andreas STEPHAN, November 2021

Panel 4 : Article 22 EUMR : No more safe harbours ?

1- Kyriakos Fountoukakos, Daniel Vowden, The EU Commission issues a statement of objections in view of imposing interim measures to two pharmaceutical companies (Grail / Illumina), 20 September 2021

2- Philippe-Emmanuel Partsch, Fynn Dewald, The Luxembourg Competition Authority publishes a statement regarding the EU Commission’s policy change on article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation, 29 April 2021

3- Catherine Gordley, The EU Commission unleashes new approach to article 22 referrals regarding an acquisition in the healthcare sector (Grail / Illumina), 20 April 2021

4- Matthew Levitt, Paul Lugard, Jody Boudreault, Roxane Tonnelier, The EU Commission publishes its findings of the evaluation of procedural and jurisdictional aspects of EU merger control and new guidance on the application of Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation, 26 March 2021


This third edition of the International Mergers Conference will take place in University College London on Thursday 19 May 2022. The conference is organised by Concurrences in partnership with University College London with the support of panel and media sponsors. Attendance is by registration only. No on-site registration. Photos will be taken at the event ; attendees agree for the organiser to use these photos, unless otherwise required. The list of participants will be communicated to the speakers. Conference credited for CPD credits.


University College London

Bentham House | 4-8 Endsleigh Gardens

WC1H 0EG London United Kingdom