Mergers and Acquisitions During the Crisis: Should the Antitrust Traffic Light Be Red, Yellow, or Green?

Mergers and Acquisition During the Crisis: Should the Antitrust Traffic Light Be Red, Yellow, or Green?

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The Details

Date: Thursday, May 14th, 2020

Time: 12:00 PM (ET)

Host: PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster

Guests:

Lisa Ellis: Partner at MoffettNathanson, where she leads the Payments, Processors and IT Services Business. Formerly Managing Director at Sanford C. Bernstein, and McKinsey partner in its Technology & Telecoms practice.

David S. Evans: Chairman at Global Economics Group, Boston; Co-Executive Director Jevons Institute for Competition Law and Economics and Visiting Professor, University College London.

John Fingleton: Founder and CEO at Fingleton Associates, London; formerly Chief Executive of the Office of U.K. Office of Fair Trading, Chair of the Irish Competition Authority and Chair of the International Competition Network.

Hans Morris: Managing Partner at Nyca Partners, a fintech VC in New York and San Francisco; chairman of the board of Lending Club and formerly President of Visa; and board member of several startups in the commerce and fintech space.

Terrell McSweeney: Partner at Covington and Burling, Washington, DC; former Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC); formerly Deputy Assistant to the President and Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President during the Obama Administration.

John E. Kwoka: Neal F. Finnegan Distinguished Professor of Economics at Northeastern University, Boston; Research Fellow of the American Antitrust Institute; Author of just published book “Controlling Mergers and Market Power: A Program for Reviving Antitrust in America.”

About:

What’s Next in Regulation

Recently, the Chairman of the US House of Representatives antitrust committee proposed banning mergers until the pandemic ends.  Even before Covid-19 hit antitrust authorities on both sides of the Atlantic decided it was time to give mergers and acquisitions by Big Tech firms a close and hard look.  Meanwhile, the realities of the economic crisis are forcing antitrust authorities to make difficult tradeoffs.  As Deliveroo faced financial ruin the UK competition authority provisionally cleared Amazon’s investment, which it had put on ice and started probing in late December.  The evolving intersection between the pandemic and the economy may affect the pace of mergers and acquisitions, investments, and IPOs over still unknown time horizon.

This roundtable will tackle three questions:  Should merger policy change during the pandemic and if so how?  Is now the time to tighten or loosen the antitrust grip on Big Tech?  And how could these decisions affect innovation, entrepreneurs, and startups?  And spanning these questions is the unfolding crisis affecting company M&A decisions as buyers or sellers. The panel consists of economists, lawyers, and investors who are in the trenches dealing with these issues.

In partnership with Competition Policy International