ICYMI: During The ABA Antitrust Spring Meeting, CCIA Hosted Panel On Merger Control In Dynamic Markets
During the ABA Antitrust Spring Meeting, CCIA hosted a live panel of competition experts focused on evolving issues in merger control while federal antitrust regulators continue to review and revise forthcoming updates to merger guidelines.
Moderated by CCIA’s Vice President of Global Competition and Regulatory Policy Krisztian Katona, panelists discussed the future of digital competition rules, the role of mergers in innovation and the economy, and what to expect from the FTC’s updated merger guidelines. Be sure to check out the newest DisCo post summarizing the panel event here.
Here are a few key takeaways:
Stanford Law Professor Douglas Melamed commented on how “at the core [all antitrust cases] depend on two and only two issues conceptually.”
— “One, did the defendant engage in anti-competitive conduct? And two, did that conduct increase or does it tend to increase market power? If the answers to both those questions, [is] yes, the defendant loses and vice versa.”
David Teece, Executive Chairman of the Berkeley Research Group, commented on the benefits of mergers for the broader economy, consumers, and innovation.
— “When you’re talking about dynamic markets, and with that in mind, thinking about M&A in the dynamic context, or in the context of markets where there’s rapid technological change and complex systems that are being assembled, I think it’s probably true to say that mergers are actually more important than in the industrial economy in terms of being able to achieve positive outcomes for society and eventually for consumers.”
— “[I]f somehow rather you have, you know, merger control that is too excessive you’ll, you’ll actually blunt the, what I call, systemic innovation.“
Teece also commented on the importance of M&A in promoting innovation.
— “One has to begin with [a] framework that recognizes different types of innovation. And the enablement of innovation, particularly of systemic innovation, requires, you know, a significant number of mergers and acquisitions.”
— “There’s a lot of innovation that builds productively on top of other innovation. It doesn’t lead to destruction, it leads to augmentation.”
Taylor Owings, a Partner at Baker Botts, commented on how the forthcoming merger guidelines will likely express “more skepticism toward efficiencies.”
— “[I]t’s pretty widely expected that the new draft of the merger guidelines are gonna express a lot more skepticism toward efficiencies than has been the pattern and the sort of premise really of the merger guidelines since, since at least 1984.”
Check out the full event here.