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12th Competition Law Seminar for Asia-Pacific Judges


Annual Seminar Empowers Asia-Pacific Judges in Reviewing Merger Decisions


Date: September 21, 2022

In a virtual gathering attended by over 200 judges from seven ASEAN jurisdictions, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Korea Policy Centre (Competition Programme) hosted its prestigious annual Seminar for Asia-Pacific judges. The event, held in close collaboration with Indonesia's Supreme Court, was an integral part of the Programme of the Legal and Judicial Research, Development, Education, and Training Agency.


The Seminar, which took place on September 21, 2022, focused on providing judges with essential insights into the review of merger decisions made by competition authorities. The aim was to enhance their understanding of the standard of proof used, the level of discretion granted to agencies during assessments, and the main theories of harm and economic evidence employed in merger cases.


The event's inauguration featured Mr. Jungwon Song, Director General of the OECD/KPC Competition Programme, and Mr. Ruben Maximiano, Senior Expert and Regional Manager for Asia-Pacific at OECD, delivering the opening remarks.


Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Syarifuddin, S.H., M.H., provided the keynote address. He offered an overview of Indonesia's competition law, highlighting landmark judicial cases related to mergers.


The Seminar witnessed Special Remarks from distinguished personalities, including Prof. Frédéric Jenny, Competition Committee Chair and former Judge of the Cour de Cassation in France, and Hon Michael O'Bryan, Justice of the Federal Court of Australia.


Prof. Jenny's presentation delved into the economics of competition and merger control, while Justice O'Bryan shed light on the forward-looking assessment of mergers and clarified the interpretation of the "substantial lessening of competition" test.


Dr. Silvère Lefèvre from the General Court of the European Union shared the EU's experiences in merger control, including the concept of granting a "margin of discretion" to the European Commission in administrative merger decisions. Eminent economist Miguel de la Mano, partner at RBB Economics, provided valuable insights into market definition and the evaluation of competitive effects in mergers, underlining the role of economics in complementing evidence.


The event culminated in a dynamic Q&A session and closing remarks from Ruben Maximiano (OECD) and Jungwon Song (Director General, OECD/KPC Competition Programme), reaffirming the Seminar's success in equipping judges with the tools to navigate the complexities of merger reviews.

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