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International Competition Law Conference 2017: new developments, trends and challenges for business

2017-11-30

9:00-15:30 (registration from 8:30)
2017-11-30
Radisson Blu Royal Astorija, Didžioji g. 35/2, Vilnius

Together with competition law experts, we’ll address three main topics at the event:

  • Merger control trends: what are the proposed amendments to the Law on Competition going to bring?
  • Competition rules in the e-commerce sector: why have they attracted increased attention from the European Commission and major EU Member States?
  • State aid to business: what are the ways for implementing state aid rules in Lithuania?

Some changes to the Law on Competition are on the way to introduce novel regulation of merger control, aimed at reducing administrative burdens in M&A deals. However, it remains to wait and see if businesses are going to feel the real effects of the proposed novelties. Will the changes indeed be such as to reduce administrative burdens? What does the future hold for us and what is a must to know while preparing for the upcoming M&A deals in the Baltics?

Recently there has been an increased level of attention from the European Commission and the incumbent Member States to ensuring compliance with competition rules in the e-commerce sector. Unless Lithuanian businesses properly evaluate potential risks, we soon may see investigations into restrictions of competition being launched locally. How competition rules are applied in this specific sector? What are the restrictions that businesses should refrain from applying? Should e-commerce be really subject to the same competition rules as traditional commerce?

The high degree of attention of the European Commission to state aid rules is apparent from the cases of unlawful state aid received by Apple, Starbucks, Amazon and others. In recent years, a number of cases of unlawful state aid have been identified, with adverse effects on businesses having to repay the unlawful economic advantage obtained from the State or municipality. Why businesses receiving any type of economic incentives from the State or municipalities are required to comply with EU state aid rules? Why state aid must be notified and what potential risks are involved in obtaining unlawful state aid? What lesson can Lithuania learn from the most recent decisions of the European Commission and the Court of Justice of the European Union in state aid cases involving taxation?

PROGRAMME:

Moderator: Rasa Zaščiurinskaitė, Head of Competition Law Practice Group at COBALT Lithuania

08:30 - 09:00 Registration

9:00 - 9:10 Welcome address

  • Dr Irmantas Norkus, Managing Partner at COBALT Lithuania

MERGER CONTROL TRENDS

9:10 - 9:30 Overview of M&A trends in the context of Lithuania’s economy

  • Julijus Grigaliūnas, Managing Partner at PORTA Finance

9:30 - 09:50 Future developments in merger control regulation: benefits for business

  • Kęstutis Šukvietis, Competition Policy Adviser at the Ministry of Economy

09:50 - 10:40 Panel discussion: Overview of major 2017 M&A deals in the Baltics and future trends (in English)

Moderator: Elijus Burgis, Partner at COBALT Lithuania

Participants:

  • Elonas Šatas, Member of the Competition Council, Deputy Chairman
  • Karolis Pocius, Partner at Oaklins M&A Baltics
  • Elo Tamm, Partner at COBALT Estonia
  • Dace Silava-Tomsone, Managing Partner at COBALT Latvia

10:40 - 11:00 Coffee Break

E-COMMERCE AND COMPETITION RULES

11:00 - 11:20 E-commerce and competition rules in Europe: what Lithuanian businesses should be preparing for?

  • Justinas Šileika, Associate at COBALT Lithuania

11:20 - 11:50 Panel discussion: Are current competition rules suited to e-commerce business?

Moderator: Rasa Zaščiurinskaitė, Head of Competition Law Practice Group at COBALT Lithuania

Participants:

  • Gintarė Surblytė-Namavičienė, Competition Policy Adviser at the Competition Council
  • Vaiva Borisienė, Head of Legal Department at AL holdingas
  • Remigijus Štaras, Managing Director of Topo Centras (Topo Group)

11:50 - 13:10 Lunch

STATE AID FOR BUSINESS

13:10 - 13:40 State aid for AirBaltic and Estonian Air: two different stories (in English)

  • Elo Tamm, Partner at COBALT Estonia
  • Ugis Zeltins, Senior Associate at COBALT Latvia

13:40 - 14:00 Protecting against unlawful state aid – Achema case study

  • Rytis Budrius, General Counsel of Achema

14:00 - 14:20 EC decisional practice and CJEU case-law in state aid cases: latest trends (in English)

  •  Fabio Filpo, Court of Justice of the EU

14:20 - 14:40 Liberalisation of the market for passenger transport services: European best practice, regulation mistakes and lessons (un)learnt

  • Karolis Dekeris, Marketing Director of UAB Kauno autobusai

14:40 -15:20 Panel discussion: How to ensure a better culture of state aid in Lithuania?

Moderator: Rasa Zaščiurinskaitė, Head of Competition Law Practice Group at COBALT Lithuania

Participants:

  • Jūratė Šovienė, Member of the Competition Council, Deputy Chairwoman
  • Rytis Budrius, General Counsel of Achema
  • Rūta Šimkaitytė-Kudrauskė, Head of Legal and Advisory Department of Kaunas City Municipality
  • Ieva Petkevičiūtė, Head of Better Regulation Policy Division, Company Law and Business Environment Improvement Department, Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania

15:20 - 15:30 Concluding remarks

15:30 - 16:30 Wine reception & networking

 

DATE: 30 November, 09:00-15:30 (registration from 8:30)

VENUE: Radisson Blu Royal Astorija, Didžioji g. 35/2, Vilnius

REGISTRATION:

We kindly ask you to inform us about your intention to participate by completing the registration form until 9:00 a.m. on 27 November (Monday).

The event is free of charge but places are limited.

Registration >>

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us by sending us an e-mail at events@cobalt.legal or calling us at (8) 5 25 00800.

 

SPEAKERS:

Elonas Šatas is a member of the Competition Council in charge of the activities of the Unfair Commercial Practices Division and the Dominant Undertakings and Mergers Supervision Division and also represents the Competition Council in complex competition litigation matters. Elonas Šatas was appointed as a member of the Competition Council for the second 6-year tenure on 23 August 2017. Prior to taking this office, he led the Law and Competition Policy Division and the State Aid Division of the Competition Council. With work experience of more than 14 years in this field, Elonas Šatas is often invited to local and international events to deliver presentations on competition law, the spread of competition culture, and misleading and comparative advertising.

Dr Irmantas Norkus is the Managing Partner of COBALT Lithuania, with over 20 years of extensive experience in private and public M&A, competition, banking and finance. During his career Dr Norkus has led numerous landmark cross-border and domestic transactions and projects and has handled some of the most complex antitrust matters of recent times. He has represented a broad range of high-profile corporate clients, investment funds, issuers, financial institutions and institutional investors. Dr Norkus’ exceptional and impeccable service has earned him a reputation as a leading lawyer in his areas of practice.

Kęstutis Šukvietis is an Adviser at the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania. He has substantial experience of the practical application of competition law – for nearly 6 years he worked at the Competition Council and for nearly 2 years at a leading law firm in Lithuania. In his current position at the Ministry of Economy, Kęstutis is responsible for developing the competition law policy and has been involved in drafting the most recent amendments to the Law on Competition, aimed at facilitating merger control from a business perspective. In the field of development of competition policy Kęstutis has contributed to the transposition of the so-called Damages Directive (Directive 2014/104/EU) to the Lithuanian Law on Competition and has been involved in drafting other competition legislation.

Rasa Zaščiurinskaitė is a Managing Associate and Head of the Competition Practice Group at COBALT Lithuania. For over 13 years, she has concentrated her practice in competition law and has substantial experience in Energy, Pharmacy, Aviation and other regulated areas of law. Rasa has a Master’s degree in Law from Vilnius University and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in EU Competition Law from King’s College London. She has also gained valuable knowledge of EU competition law through attendance of numerous international and national conferences.

Rytis Budrius is the General Counsel at AB Achema. He has led the company’s Legal Department for six years now and over this time has gained valuable experience in the fields of corporate governance, energy, and resolution of business disputes. Rytis Budrius represents the interests of AB Achema in litigation matters, co-ordinates cases by preparing to present the company’s position before public authorities and preparing for arbitration disputes. Through his experience gained in dealing with large-scale and complex litigation with the State of Lithuania in the field of energy, with Gazprom and other entities concerning compensation of damages, he provides to the company the skills required to objectively assess and manage its legal risks.

Elo Tamm is a Partner at COBALT Estonia and head of the fields of competition law and European Union law. Elo is a highly recognised specialist in the field of competition. She has more than 15 years of experience in advising local and international clients in various industry sectors, including energy, waste handling, healthcare, etc. Elo has successfully defended dominant companies, has assisted clients in obtaining the permits of the Estonian Competition Authority for the most complex of mergers and has advised companies in all other matters pertaining to competition law (cartels, resale relationships, state aid).

Fabio Filpo is a legal secretary (“referendaire“) at the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg since 2014. He has previously practiced as a lawyer in Brussels for over 12 years, dealing with EU law, in particular competition law and internal market regulation. He has contributed to various publications in EU law and participated to a number of academic and training activities for public and private EU law practitioners (such as national judges, public officers, lawyers).