Past Event

Economic patriotism, national champions and merger control

Competition Policy

Date: Nov 12 - Topic: Digital economy and innovation

Economic stagnation in Europe calls for action by policy makers. There is no unanimous consensus however about the tools that should be used to reignite Europe’s engine. The adoption of rules or policies that directly or indirectly ensure a domestic control or protection of the national economy is amongst the most controversial proposals.

Foreign takeovers, for example, are often a source of concern for national governments. There is a public perception that when a company owned by domestic shareholders loses control to the benefit of a foreign investor, the risk of losses for the national economy is increased. It is believed that foreign investors may, for example, be less concerned with productivity drops, job losses or cuts in research expenditure. Last spring Alstom/GE and Pfizer/Astrazeneca prompted new waves of debates in the public domain.

During this talk we will address the following questions:

  • should Europe or Member States change their approach to merger control in order to favor the creation of national or European champions?
  • is foreign control a threat for national economies?
  • do current merger control rules offer enough guarantees that a merger will not harm the national economy?
  • is current enforcement of competition laws appropriate to the current economic situation?
  • what is the best way to create true European Champions without distorting market competition?

Speakers

  • Ferdinando "Nani" Beccalli-Falco, President and CEO of General Electric Europe
  • Damien Neven, Graduate Institute Geneva and former Chief Economist DG COMP, European Commission
  • Xavier Ragot, Paris School of Economics and President of the Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques
  • Joel Stiebale, Professor, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE)
  • Chair: Mario Mariniello, Research Fellow, Bruegel

Event materials

  • Presentation by Damien Neven
  • Presentation by Joel Stiebale

Practical details

  • Venue: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
  • Time: Wednesday 12 November 2014, 14.00-15.30. Lunch will be served at 13.30.
  • Contact: Matilda Sevón, Events Manager – [email protected]
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