World events, including the continuing pandemic, increasing political polarisation, and a sense of urgency about the climate crisis, have all contributed to building pressure for antitrust to look beyond narrow consumer welfare concerns and to be part of the solution to many broader societal issues. At the same time many markets are undergoing significant transformation in response to digitalisation and other technological change. All this has propelled risk awareness and compliance efforts into the spotlight.

This is set to continue in 2022, and today we published our 12th edition of 10 key themes in global antitrust, which explores a number of developments that will affect businesses planning deals and managing antitrust risk in 2022.

Assertive antitrust enforcement is clearly a priority for governments and antitrust authorities around the world and in the coming year we can be sure of seeing the following:

  • new powers in many major jurisdictions to regulate digital businesses;
  • a focus on collaboration arrangements, data ownership practices and use of government financing by companies undergoing technological transformation;
  • antitrust being used to promote innovation, with authorities considering wider theories of harm when investigating whether collaborations are stifling creativity, especially in tech and life sciences;
  • further attention on defining the antitrust risks of working with competitors to contribute to meeting sustainability goals; and
  • reinvigorated cartel enforcement, extending to new areas including labour markets.

Throughout the year we will be holding a number of events to discuss the implications of these and other developments. If you are interested in joining our discussions, do get in touch.