By Mario Todino & Emilie Ry Schou

Margrethe Vestager has been nominated for a second term as Competition Commissioner, as well as Executive Vice President for digital. In her new role, Commissioner Vestager is likely to encounter two political challenges: the first stems from the potential clash between the role of unbiased competition enforcer, and industry-involved digital regulator; the second from increasing pressure for a reform to protect European Champions. Commissioner Vestager should moreover, in our view, strive to prioritize certain key areas to align the competition law toolbox with modern-day reality. For example, guidelines should be revised to address the complexities of innovation and digital markets, and the merger control regime should be tweaked to deal with killer acquisitions. In State Aid, the strict position on support interventions to distressed banks by deposit guarantee schemes should be revisited. Finally, from a procedural standpoint, the focus should be on tempering reliance on internal documents, aligning substantive with procedural convergence, and shortening antitrust investigations.

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