Antitrust likes to meet

After more than two years of Covid 19, people strive to meet in person again. In addition to personal meetings in the private sphere, in-person meetings in the business environment are also on the rise again. Of course, this also includes conferences, many of which have not taken place or have only taken place virtually in the past two years. Just in time for the “new start”, it is time to venture an outlook on some of the most important upcoming antitrust conferences.

To start with: The ABA Antitrust Law Spring Meeting

The ABA Antitrust Lawn Spring Meeting in Washington DC is maybe the most prominent antitrust conference. Starting yesterday, more than 2500 antitrust enthusiasts meet in Washington to exchange the latest gossip on antitrust, but also to connect with each other and visit some of the famous parties expert gatherings which take place around the event (although only to a limited extent this year). The meeting has a very long tradition, it is already the 70th conference taking place.

When: 5-8 April

Where: Washington DC, US

Who is coming: Lawyers and antitrust experts working for governments and national authorities.

Highlight: Many. One is the Enforcement roundtable on Friday, including Jonathan Kanter from DOJ, Lina Khan (invited) from the FTC, Margrethe Vestager from the EC, Alexandre Cordeiro Macedo from CADE, and Gwendolyn Cooley from NAAG and the Wisconsin AG.

International Conference by the Bundeskartellamt  

Every two years, the Bundeskartellamt invites antitrust experts from around the globe to its International Conference. The conference is held since the beginning of the 1980s. This year, it takes place in Berlin in May. Participation is by invitation only.

When: 4 May

Where: Berlin, Germany

Who is coming: Many antitrust experts, in particular from antitrust authorities

Highlight: The event will be followed by the 21th ICN conference, which takes place from May 4-6 in Berlin and is the meeting of the authorities which are members of the ICN.

European Competition Lawyers Association

A gathering of mainly European antitrust lawyers is the Conference of the European Competition Lawyers Association.

When: May 20-21

Where: Stockholm, Sweden  

Who is coming: Lawyers and inhouse experts from Europe.

Annual Competition Conference of the International Bar Association

Another highlight on the antitrust calendar is the IBA’s Annual Competition Conference, which usually takes place in Florence, Italy. The 26th Annual Competition Conference will take place on 9-10 September this year. Traditionally, it is a bit less US-focused than the Spring Meeting.

When: 9-10 September

Where: Florence, Italy

Who is coming: Lawyers and antitrust experts working for governments and national authorities.

Highlight: Program is not published yet, but the list of keynote speakers is usually prominent.

The IBA is also organizing the Communications and Competition Law Conference, which takes place on 25-26 April in Madrid this year.

US again: Fordham International Antitrust Law and Policy Conference

From Florence you can travel directly to New York (and get your work done while traveling). In New York, the Fordham University annually invites antitrust experts to join its International Antitrust Law and Policy Conference. The 49th conference will take place on 14-16 September. This event is attended by many academics, but also practitioners, economic experts and enforcers.

When: 14-16 September

Where: New York, US  

Who is coming: Academics, but also lawyers and antitrust experts working for governments and national authorities.

The insider tip: ASCOLA

This conference might not be that far known, but is very close to the heart of the author, who helped to organize this conference in Bonn in 2010. This year, the 17th ASCOLA Conference will be held in Porto, Portugal, from 30 June to 2 July.

When: 30 June 30 – 2 July

Where: Porto, Portugal

Who is coming: Mostly academics and students, but from time to time practitioners are also attending.  

Highlight: Each conference also always has a very nice social program, which alone is worth attending.

So, this leaves you a lot of opportunities to travel and meet in a (not) post Covid world. See you around and stay safe!