Positive Competition’s 5th Anniversary celebrations in Warsaw
On October 10th, we celebrated Positive Competition’s 5th Anniversary with a festive cocktail in the Bellotto Hotel in Warsaw. On this occasion, we held a workshop on the important topic of the “Pro-competitive Effects of Mergers”, co-organised with the Competition Law Association in Poland. We could not have dreamt of a better birthday celebration! We really enjoyed the valuable discussions on substance and then relaxing with our good friends in the competition community in Poland.
The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Mr. Tomasz Chróstny, gave a very accurate and interesting introduction to the workshop, after which our Founder, Aleksandra Boutin, presented Positive Competition’s insights on the pro-competitive effects of concentrations, as well as our research and experience in this area. Then, the Deputy Director of the Market Analysis Department of UOKiK, Mr. Nikodem Szadkowski gave a thought provoking commentary on our presentation from the perspective of UOKiK’s practice. Lively discussions continued late into the evening, both in the official part and during the birthday cocktail party.
The main conclusions of the Workshop were as follows:
- Antitrust authorities are often skeptical about efficiency and pro-competitive arguments in horizontal concentrations.
- This stems both from established economic theory and from the failure of the parties to the concentration to adequately prepare pro-competitive arguments (as well as from the misrepresentation of pro-competitive arguments as being about efficiency gains).
- Antitrust authorities are receptive to pro-competitive arguments, but a high standard of proof must be maintained.
- These arguments must be based on rigorous economic reasoning, clearly presented to decision-makers and supported by adequate evidence.
- Positive Competition has discussed several modern economic models that can provide an appropriate level of discussion with antitrust authorities, which should lead to an improvement in the quality of antitrust policy in this area.