WASHINGTON – The U.S.’s apparent suspicion about the potential anticompetitive nature of vertical mergers is raising eyebrows in Europe, according to Jacques Steenbergen, president of Belgium’s Competition Authority. “We always have the impression that the Europeans are more concerned about verticals,” he says in this interview recorded at the 2018 annual ABA Spring Antitrust Meeting.
WASHINGTON – Belgium’s relatively small marketplace makes strict attention to anticompetitive practices imperative, according to Jacques Steenbergen, president of Belgium’s Competition Authority. “If [business owners] feel it doesn’t concern them, they will ignore it,” he says in this interview recorded at the 2018 ABA annual Spring Antitrust Meeting. “This would lead to a no-competition culture,” he says. For this reason, Steenbergen says Belgian competition enforcement takes a hard look at medium-sized businesses in search of signs of infringement, cartels, and abuse, as well as situations where the broader economic and financial impact might be small, but the message will be clear: anticompetitive law applies to all businesses. by Whitney McKnight