From 26 to 28 April of this year the Bundeskartellamt hosted the International Conference on Competition (IKK) in Hamburg. This was the 14th in the series of International Conferences on Competition, which the Bundeskartellamt has hosted every two years since the early 1980s.
This year's IKK, which after venues in Berlin, Bonn and Munich, took place in Hamburg for the first time, was attended by more than 300 guests from around 60 countries.
The main topic of the conference was:
Dominant Companies - The Thin Line between Regulation and Competition Law
After the opening of the conference on the morning of 27 April by Dr Heitzer and a welcoming address by the representative of the hosting city, Mr Carsten Frigge, State Councillor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, keynote speeches were given by Dr Walther Otremba, State Secretary at the German Ministry of Economics and Technology, Prof Dr Justus Haucap, Chairman of the German Monopolies Commission, and Dr Wulf Bernotat, the CEO of E.ON AG. The morning of the following conference day began with a keynote speech by Ms Neelie Kroes, Member of the European Commission.
On the afternoon of 27 April 2009 the first panel discussion dealt with the delimitation between regulatory and competition control under the rubric "Release from Regulatory Control - When and How?" .
The second panel on the morning of 28 April addressed the issue "Dominant Company - What Now? Consequences of a Categorisation under Competition Law".
Both topics motivated a highly energized and controversial discussion not only among representatives of agencies and companies but also among the company representatives on the panel.
The panelists included René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG, Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of United Internet AG, Matthias Kurth, President of the Federal Network Agency, Stefan H. Lauer, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Philip Lowe, Director General for Competition, European Commission, Louise Pentland, Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President, Nokia Corporation, Margret Suckale, Member of the Executive Board of DB Mobility Logistics AG and Chair of the FIW, heads of national competition authorities, representatives of the European Courts, the EFTA Court and the Federal Court of Justice (BGH).
Not only European competition authorities and the European Commission were represented among the number of participants from around 60 countries and international organisations, but also a large number of competition authorities from Asia, Africa and North and South America.
The conference speeches are available on this website under the rubric conference materials.