#ASCOLA2023: Conference in Athens with record numbers

The ASCOLA Annual Conference 2023 in Athens ended on 3 July 2023 after four intense days of discussions on competition law. This was the largest ASCOLA conference ever with 38 panels, several plenary sessions and about 150 participants from all over the world. The conference was organised by Professors Alexandra Mikroulea and Manos Mastromanolis from the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens together with the Hellenic Competition Commission under the leadership of Professor Ioannis Lianos. The organisers and their teams deserve the thanks of the ASCOLA community for their extraordinary efforts and the great event at the Greek capital.

The highlight of the conference were of course the numerous panels with presentations of scholarly work – the papers had been chosen in a peer review process. The Best Junior Paper Award 2023 was won by Elias Deutscher (University of East Anglia) & Stavros Makris (University of Glasgow) for their paper “Merger Control and Sustainability”. The keynote speech was given by Professor Herbert Hovenkamp (University of Pennsylvania) who is said to be the most cited antitrust professor in the world. He spoke on “Markets and Gatekeepers”. In the “Economist Debate”, Olivier Guersent (Director General for Competition, EU), Tomasso Valletti (Imperial College London, former Chief Economist of EU DG Competition) and Chrysovalantou Milliou (Hellenic Competition Commission) discussed economic challenges for competition. In a TED Talk Session, hosted by Rupprecht Podszun (University of Düsseldorf) younger scholars presented their research in gripping 90-seconds-talks. The inspiring final session looked into the production of knowledge and the engagement of academics with enforcers and policy-makers. Social events included the 20th birthday party of ASCOLA in the Benaki Museum, a trip to the scenic Sounion and to the Acropolis Museum.

ASCOLA also held elections. After seven years in office Michal Gal (University of Haifa) stepped down as President. The Assembly thanked her with standing ovations for her excellent work over the years. Her successor is Rupprecht Podszun (University of Düsseldorf). Peter Picht (Zurich, for finances), Thomas Cheng (Hong Kong), Magali Eben (Glasgow), Giorgio Monti (Tilburg) and Wendy Ng (Melbourne) will serve as Vice Presidents. New members were also elected to the larger board of ASCOLA.

The next ASCOLA conference will be held in Würzburg, Germany, upon invitation by Professor Florian Bien and Dr Björn-Christian Becker on 4-6 July 2024.

The photo gallery holds some impressions from the 2023 conference (for more see here).