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IKK 2017

The International Conference on Competition has been hosted by the Bundeskartellamt every other year since the early 1980s.

The conference is one of the most renowned international events dealing with competition law issues and brings together leading personalities and competition experts from all over the world, providing a forum for them to exchange their knowledge and experience. The last conference in 2015 was attended by more than 350 participants from over 60 countries.

The 18th International Conference on Competition will take place
in Berlin from 15 - 17 March 2017.

Covering a wide range of current legal and economic issues, the 18th International Conference on Competition will pay particular focus to the profound changes to the economy brought about by increasing digitalisation, which raise new questions for competition authorities around the globe.

The conference will be opened with keynote speeches by Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, and Frank Appel, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Post AG.

The Opening Session will be followed by a speech given by Joe Kaeser, Chief Executive Officer, Siemens AG, who will open the first panel discussion. Dealing with the interrelation between company size, the level of competition and innovative strength, this panel will address the controversial question of whether size or competition is the key driver of innovation and investment. Can market power and deep pockets buy innovation? Do global markets call for strong global players and “national champions”? Does competition enforcement boost Europe’s growth potential?

The second panel will discuss the role of competition authorities in enforcing competition law in the digital economy. Are there convincing theories of harm for appropriate intervention? Are procedures fast and efficient enough to cope with the dynamics of fast moving markets? In case of doubt: to intervene or not to intervene? Is regulation the last resort?

The third panel will take a closer look at the application of economic theory in the context of competition law issues in digital markets. How do we measure innovation competition? How can we predict future developments in a context of rapid change? Do we have the right models to measure parameters other than price? Do we get the data to apply them? Or is a reassessment of standards of evidence inevitable?

The fourth panel discussion will deal with the long-term reliability of leniency programmes to detect modern and more sophisticated cartels. Are leniency programmes still the instrument of choice with cartels becoming more sophisticated? Do other instruments have to be strengthened to raise the potential to detect cartels? Are leniency programmes losing their attractiveness due to over-deterrence caused by multi-jurisdictional enforcement, criminalization and private damages?
A detailed conference programme is available here. The working languages of the conference will be German and English (simultaneous interpreting services will be provided).

As in previous years, the Bundeskartellamt will host a workshop in English for the representatives of young competition authorities on the day before the conference. The workshop was first held in 2013 as a new programme feature tailored to the specific needs and interests of young competition authorities. It was very well received and proved to be an excellent forum for international exchange. More than 70 participants from over 35 countries attended the first workshop to discuss matters of interest and exchange their opinions. The topics of the 2017 workshop are “Competition has no lobby – Strategies for successful advocacy with governments and other stakeholders” and “Market Studies in practice – Priorities, purpose, procedure".
The workshop programme can be found here.

The conference venue will be the Steigenberger Hotel am Kanzleramt. The venue of the workshop will be the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin.

I am looking forward to some interesting contributions and stimulating discussions with you at the 18th International Conference on Competition in Berlin.

Yours sincerely,

Andreas Mundt
President of the Bundeskartellamt

Participation in the conference is by (personal) invitation only.