MOFCOM: Workshop on Merger Investigative Techniques - day 2

Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Conference Center of National’s People’s Congress
No.2 Xihuang Chenggen North Road, Xicheng District, Beijing 100034

Moderator: Dr Stanley Wong, StanleyWongGlobal – SW Law Corporation; Special Advisor on competition policy, EU-China Trade Project II

Mr Thomas Deisenhofer, Head of Unit (E-4) with responsibility for mergers in basic industries, manufacturing and agriculture, DG Competition, European Commission

Ms Caroline Frydenberg, Head of Section, Konkurrence- og Forbrugerstyrelsen (Danish Competition and Consumer Authority), Cophenhagen

Ms Alessandra Tonazzi, Special Advisor for International Affairs, Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (Italian Competition Authority), and its representative as Co-Chair, Merger Working Group, International Competition Network, Rome

Dr Stanley Wong, StanleyWongGlobal – SW Law Corporation; Special Advisor on competition policy, EU-China Trade Project II

Audience: Provincial officials with Division Director level or below representation (total of 20 persons); some with experience with merger investigations
Objective: Training provincial officials on merger investigation techniques with emphasis on interviews and written questionnaire
  • design of overall investigation plan                                                                               
  • purpose of obtaining information from third parties (non-parties) such as competitors, customers and end-users                                                             
  • value of evidence of third-parties                                                                                    
  • factors in deciding whether to use oral interviews or written questionnaires  
  • art of formulating questions:  direct vs indirect techniques in asking questions               
  • interpreting answers
  • use of independent experts, consultants or organisations to assist merger case investigations
  • techniques for securing cooperation of notifying parties
09:00-09:10: Opening speech by Mr Wu Zhenguo, Deputy Director General of Anti-Monopoly Bureau of Ministry of Commerce
09:10-09:20: Designing Investigative Plan: schedule, working theories of harm dealing with notifying parties, dealing with third parties by Dr Stanley Wong

Organising a merger investigation from the perspective of the competition authority:  The EU experience  by Thomas Deisenhofer, DG Competition

  • selecting a case team: size and competencies; use of external advisors
  • case allocation between European Commission (DG Competition) and EU national competition authorities
  • use of files and analysis of past cases in same industrial sector
  • cooperation and coordination with foreign jurisdictions

Organising a merger investigation from the perspective of EU national competition authority:  The EU experience II by Alessandra Tonazzi, Italian Competition Authority and Caroline Frydenberg, Danish Competition Authority

10:20-10:40: Tea Break

Preparing for a merger investigation:  The perspective of notifying parties by Dr Stanley Wong, StanleyWongGlobal – SW Law Corporation; Special Advisor on competition policy, EU-China Trade Project II

  • strategic plan for merger review
  • attitude towards information requests
  • confidentiality
  • filings/reviews in multiple jurisdictions including coordination, timing, sharing of information among authorities, resolving any conflicts in remedies
11:10-11:30: Q & A Session
11:30-13:30: Lunch
13:30-13:40: Introduction to obtaining the necessary information: Notifying Parties and Third Parties by Dr Stanley Wong

Information Requests to Notifying Parties by Thomas Deisenhofer, DG Competition

  • purpose of information requests in addition to information supplied in merger filing;
  • confidentiality issues
  • formulating of information requests

Information Requests to Third Parties by Ms Alessandra Tonazzi, Italian Competition Authority and Ms Caroline Frydenberg, Danish Competition Authority

  • purpose of request
  • oral interview or written questionnaire?
  • how to ask in oral interviews:  formulating questions
  • how to formulate questions in written questionnaires?
  • factors to consider in evaluating answers

Roundtable discussion of all panellists [no slides needed] - Investigating a multi-national merger in the beer industry (applying merger investigative techniques)

  • investigative plan
  • information requests to notifying parties
  • information requests to third parties
  • if there are anti-competitive effects, possible remedy?  types of remedies?
  • Implementation issues with remedy?
  • reconciling potential conflict of remedies between different jurisdiction
15:00-15:30: Q&A session
  *consecutive English-Chinese interpretation is provided*

Evening Work Session:

A forum for discussions between the Competition dialogue partners and the AMEAs at provincial level in China in collaboration with colleagues from EUD and EUCTP on future cooperation.

Co-chaired by DG COMP, MOFCOM and EUCTP

Group of attendees:

  • Chinese beneficiaries: AMB’ senior officials from MOFCOM/DOFCOM, NDRC and SAIC
  • European Counterpart: DG COMP
  • Experts who present during the competition week