Xavier Boutin is a founding partner of Positive Competition. He is featured as a Thought Leader in the Who’s Who Legal of Competition Economists, a ranking listing the world’s leading competition experts. He has over 20 years of experience in economic and econometric modelling for the analysis of competition cases, business strategies and the evaluation of public policies including State Aid. Xavier is also a founder and board member of l’Entente, the association of French-speaking practitioners in Brussels.
Prior to founding Positive Competition, Xavier was an expert with Compass Lexecon and, before that, he spent almost eight years in the Chief Economist Team of the European Commission’s DG Competition. He was involved in a wide variety of high level antitrust, merger and state aid cases (including in front of the ECJ). He has also worked on various policy issues including 101 and 102 Guidelines, state aid modernization, food and retail, and many others.
Xavier has taken leading roles in a number of particularly challenging mergers in a variety of sectors, including energy, oil and gas, FMCG, media, IT, mining/quarrying and construction. For instance, most recently he obtained clearance from the EC on MOL/OMV and EDF/Areva. He also worked on the initial assessment in Orlen/Lotos. In the Commission, he controlled, among others, BHP/Rio Tinto II, Samsung/Seagate and Western Digital/Hitachi, Outokumpu Thyssen Krupps, Holcim/Cemex and GE Alstom (scrutiny panel).
He had a major contribution to the 102 guidance paper, the 101 horizontal guidelines and Block Exemption Regulation (BER), as well as on various policy initiatives in the food chain and competitiveness of the European Industry. He also contributed to the State Aid Modernization, in particular, in the areas of R&D&I and Regional Aid. Last, he was an influential proponent of the obligation to evaluate State aid schemes and the lead author of the corresponding guidance documents. He has experience in a variety of sectors, in particular high technology.
Xavier also worked as a research fellow at INSEE in France. A graduate from the Ecole Polytechnique, he also holds a degree from ENSAE and a PhD in Economics from EHESS (Paris School of Economics).