Mette Alfter, a Director in Frontier’s competition practice and head of Frontier’s Brussels office, participated in a panel discussion on "Industrial Policy & Merger Control in a Globalized Economy: More Damage Than Good?".
The discussion, held at DLP Piper in Brussels, was moderated by Women@ Founder and Chair Evelina Kurgonaite. Mette provided a critical economic assessment of the key proposals made in the recent “Franco-German Manifesto for a European industrial policy fit for the 21st Century”, in relation to competition policy and merger control.
She recognised that some of the proposals included in the manifesto make sense, such as extending the time horizon to assess potential entry to match the relevant business cycle.
Nonetheless, she warned that more far-reaching proposals, such as relaxing state aid and merger control rules or introducing a veto for the EU Council on merger decisions, would not be the right approach to solving the issues identified by those advocating these proposals, and could be harmful. They would undermine competitive markets in the EU, make EU citizens worse off without ensuring that other desired benefits flow back to EU citizens and put legal certainty at risk.
Mette also discussed a series of alternative policy measures (some of which are included in the Franco-German manifesto and most of which are already in the EU legislative pipeline) that would likely be more appropriate to deliver a genuinely European industrial policy fit for the 21st Century.
Frontier regularly advises private and public sector organisations on competition and regulatory issues across Europe.
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