Big Tech Acquisitions and Innovation: Competitive Effects and EU Merger Control

05/02/2020 - 14:00 to 17:00
The University Foundation, 11 Rue d'Egmont, 1000 Brussels

Competition will play a central role in the European Commission’s industrial strategy. In her mission letter to Commissioner Vestager, Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, states that establishing a level playing field optimises the competitiveness of industries which will boost the productivity and incentivise businesses to invest and innovate.

As part of the strategic and ambitious programme to build a Europe fit for the Digital Age and to ensure competition policies and rules are shaped for the modern economy, Ms Vestager’s main task will be to review the current EU competition and merger control rules.

It is within this context that CERRE is organising an executive seminar to discuss the pro and anti-competitive effects of the acquisitions of start-ups by big tech firms and whether the current EU merger rules are suitable to such a framework.

This event will bring together representatives from national and European competition authorities, industry players and academic experts for an afternoon of discussion on this fascinating topic.

Confirmed speakers to-date include academics and representatives from:

  • Facebook
  • Microsoft
  • Vodafone
  • Telecom Paris
  • University of Namur


Free for CERRE members and CERRE academics
Free for representatives from EU Institutions and from Governments
Fee for non-CERRE members and non-CERRE academics


Registration & welcome coffee


Welcome and introduction 

Bruno Liebhaberg

Director General,



Keynote address

Pierre Régibeau

Chief Economist,
DG COMP, European Commission



Presentation of CERRE’s Paper ‘Big Tech acquisitions and innovation: competitive effects and EU merger control’

Marc Bourreau

Joint Academic Director, CERRE
Professor, Telecom Paris



Alexandre de Streel

Joint Academic Director, CERRE
Professor of EU Law, University of Namur


Academics perspectives

Martin Peitz

Research Fellow, CERRE
Professor of Economics, University of Mannheim



Despoina Mantzari

Lecturer, Competition Law & Policy,
UCL Faculty of Laws


Coffee break


'How should EU competition law be adapted?' | Debate (see discussants below)
Cocktail reception



Benedikt Blomeyer

Director, EU Policy,
Allied for startups



Giulio Federico

Head of Unit, Chief Economist Team,
DG COMP, European Commission



Phillip Malloch

Director, Economic & Social Policy,



Carel Maske

Director, Competition EMEA,



Alexis Walckiers

Chief Economist,
Belgian Competition Authority



Ben Wreschner

Chief Economist,



Wednesday 5 February 2020, 14.00-17.00,
The University Foundation, 11 Rue d'Egmont, 1000 Brussels

CERRE members and nominated guests receive priority when registering. All other registrations are provisional until confirmed by email by CERRE. If you have any questions about your registration, or do not receive a confirmation email, please contact