Simon advises firms on merger control and competition investigations. He has led the economic analysis on mergers before the European Commission and the UK competition authority, as well as several other jurisdictions worldwide (US, Australia, Singapore, Korea). He advises on assessments of alleged abusive conduct and dominance, information exchange, and vertical agreements (including online distribution agreements, MFNs and retail price maintenance).
Prior to joining CRA, Simon spent over six years at the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (and its predecessor the Office of Fair Trading) where he directed the team of economists analysing UK mergers as Head of Merger Economics and was involved in most major merger decisions during his time there. While at the CMA Simon was also previously the lead economist on merger cases and a deputy director of economics.
Following his time at the CMA, Simon was a Senior Civil Servant in the UK Government responsible for directing the economic analysis for UK consumer and competition policy. In this role he was also responsible for UK economic regulation policy and sponsorship of Ofcom and the UK Regulators Network.
Simon has led or directed the economic assessment on cases across a wide range of sectors and has particular expertise in:
- Retail and local markets (e.g. DFS/Sofology, Pure Gym/The Gym, Optimax/Ultralase, Breedon/Aggregate Industries, Cineworld/Picturehouse, Rank/Gala)
- Platforms, online and digital markets (e.g. Stars/Sky Betting, Just Eat/Hungryhouse, Google/Waze)
- Financial services (e.g. ICE/Trayport (for intervener), TP/ICAP, LSE/LCH.Clearnet, ICE/APX-Endex, Blackrock/Credit Suisse ETFs)
- Transport (e.g. easyJet/Air Berlin, Ryanair/Aer Lingus (minority shareholding), Eurotunnel/SeaFrance)
- Manufacturing and B2B (e.g. Refresco/Cott, Akzo Nobel/Metlac)
Simon currently teaches about merger assessment on KCL’s PGDip in Economics for Competition Law.
Recent project experience includes advising:
- Merging parties in The Stars Group‘s US$4.7 billion acquisition of Sky Betting and Gaming (2018), which combined the largest online poker and largest online sports book operators in the UK.
- Merging parties in BPL‘s US$1.6 billion acquisition of Biotest (2018), the two largest European suppliers of blood plasma-derived antibodies.
- Refresco in its €1.3 billion acquisition of Cott Beverages (2018), creating the largest independent soft drinks bottler in Europe and North America.
- Merging parties in DFS‘s £25 million acquisition of Sofology (2017), strengthening the position of the leading sofa retailer in the UK.
- Hungryhouse in its £240 million acquisition by Just Eat (2017), strengthening the position of the largest take-away food ordering platform in the UK.
- easyJet in its £35 million acquisition of Air Berlin (2017)
- The complainant in the CMA’s online auctions platforms antitrust investigation (2017)
- The defendant in the CMA’s antitrust investigations in the light fittings sector (2017)
- Cineworld in its £94 million acquisition of Empire cinemas (2016)
- The main complainant in the CMA’s prohibition of ICE/Trayport (2016)
- Merging parties in Tullett Prebon‘s US$1.6 billion acquisition of ICAP (2016)
The Commission’s e-commerce sector inquiry – Time to change presumptions on vertical restraints?
Competition Law & Policy Debate, 2017
The decision to investigate mergers in the UK’s voluntary regime (nominated for Antitrust Writing Award 2018 – downloadable here)
Journal of Competition Law & Economics, 2017