Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vertical Restraints Block Exemption Regulation in the Internet Age 2010

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Vertical Restraints Block Exemption Regulation in the Internet Age 2010
                              A New Hope for the New Economy?                

Monday 24th January 2011, Le Plaza, Brussels, Belgium

Meet our chairman:
Oliver Bretz, Partner, Clifford Chance, UK
Meet our eminent line-up of speakers:
Julia Holtz, Senior Competition Counsel, Google, UK
Nelson Jung, Senior Team Leader – Services, Office of Fair Trading (OFT), UK
Johan Ysewyn, Head of Competition Group, Linklaters, Belgium
William Blumenthal, Partner, Clifford Chance, USA (Former General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission)
Sir Christopher Bellamy QC, Senior Consultant, Linklaters LLP, UK (Former President, Competition Appeals Tribunal, Former Judge, Court of First Instance now General Court)
Agenda: Monday 24th January 2011
08:40 Registration and coffee
09:30 Chair’s introduction
Oliver Bretz, Partner, Clifford Chance, UK
Opening address
09:40 A transatlantic debate: Contrasting the US and EU regimes
• Opportunities and risks – vertical restraints in the New Economy
• Overview of the US approach to vertical agreements
• Compare and contrast with the EU regime
• Transatlantic lessons?
William Blumenthal, Partner, Clifford Chance, USA (Former General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission)
10:15 Does the EU Block Exemption make economic sense
• The interface between economics and competition pragmatism
• Positive and negative impacts on the New Economy
• Is there a better approach – are there any screens?
10:50 Morning coffee break
11:10 Exclusive rights in the new economy: Necessity or market
tipping?
• Is the distinction between horizontal and vertical restraint meaningful in technology markets?
• Can 'one size fit all'?
• How do you balance the interests of competitors and consumers?
• Is the Block Exemption ever useful?
Julia Holtz, Senior Competition Counsel, Google, UK
11:50 Panel discussion: Content downloads, online selling, e-commerce
and vertical agreements
• Discussing practical challenges and legal complexities
Moderator:
Johan Ysewyn, Partner, Linklaters LLP, Belgium
Panellists include so far:
Julia Holtz, Senior Competition Counsel, Google, UK
Keynote address
12:30 A response from the European Commission
• Highlighting the Commission’s current policies and priorities, particularly in the new economy
13:20 Lunch
Joint presentation
14:30 Luxury and the internet – do we have the right balance?
• Online commerce v. luxury brands
• Practical challenges
• How to you balance the interests of the consumer?
15.15 Unilateral actions, agency models and other approaches
• Is it circumvention or just good business practice?
• Different distribution models, different issues
• How does it fit with the internal market
• Do members states have a consistent approach?
15:40 Afternoon tea break
16.00 How are vertical restraints enforced? The view from the bench
• How does the judiciary approach enforcement
• Discussing practical challenges
Sir Christopher Bellamy QC, Senior Consultant, Linklaters LLP, UK (Former President, Competition Appeals Tribunal, Former Judge, Court of First Instance now General Court)
16:40 Panel discussion: How are vertical restraints enforced? The view
from the Authorities
• What is the role of the Commission?
• What is the role of NCAs?
• Is private enforcement effective outside the confines of the Block Exemption?
• Is there a transatlantic disconnect?
Panellists include so far:
Nelson Jung, Senior Team Leader – Services, Office of Fair Trading (OFT), UK
William Blumenthal, Former General Counsel, Federal Trade Commission, Partner, Clifford Chance, USA
17:30 Chair’s closing remarks and close of conference

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