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The Governance of Global Competition: ICN’s Next Decade

The Governance of Global Competition: ICN’s Next Decade

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The Governance of Global Competition: ICN’s Next Decade

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  1. The Governance of Global Competition:ICN’s Next Decade Trento, November 26, 2010 Alessandra Tonazzi International Affairs Italian Competition Authority The views expressed herein are those of the author and should not be attributed to the Italian Competition Authority

  2. Globalization and Competition Policy • Business increasingly conducted across national markets: conduct in one country and possible anticompetitive effects in other countries • Proliferation of antitrust laws (and a very high percentage of these laws enacted in the last 10-12 years)

  3. Globalization and Competition Policy • Address private anti-competitive practice • Address disproportionate public restrictions on competition • Reduce the instance of different or inconsistent substantive standards and policies that give rise to a risk of chilling conduct that could be pro-competitive and ultimately beneficial to consumers and • Remove duplicative and inconsistent procedures across national competition regimes that create additional burdens for business which are ultimately passed on to consumers

  4. National Bilateral and Multilateral Approaches • Many countries have tools to address anticompetitive practices that take place outside their borders • Antitrust cooperation agreements have been very successful in facilitating cooperation and coordination between antitrust enforcers • Antitrust issues have been addressed in numerous multilateral fora

  5. International Competition Network • A network of countries applying different competition rules • Enhance cooperation among antitrust agencies in order to improve the effectiveness of their actions and reduce the cost of parallel enforcement • Development of a set of basic general principles

  6. International Competition Network • Distinguishing features of ICN: • Inclusiveness: agency representatives from around the globe are full members, not observers or invited guests. • Openness: representatives from the private sector,academia and other international organizations dealing with competition issues, so called non-government members ( NGA’s)

  7. International Competition Network • Joint Work Products • Focus on a small number of projects each year, guaranteeing a manageable workload to facilitate timely deliverables. • The result should be clear, concise and pragmatic guidance for developed and developing competition agencies. • Focus on identifying best practices from around the world, rather than protecting or legitimizing existing domestic systems (ex: recommended practices)

  8. International Competition Network • Goal of Soft Convergence • The recommended practices are endorsed and adopted by the ICN. • Because the ICN is not a rule-making body, members are under no obligation to ensure their domestic laws reflect these practices. It is up to each agency to decide whether, and how, to implement the recommendations. • This illustrates another significant feature of the ICN: recognition of the need for greater communication and cooperation in the realm of antitrust enforcement not as a result of some treaty obligation; rather, it is a community of interest.

  9. Has it worked? • Action against private anticompetitive behavior: not only informal agency cooperation but substantive convergence on leniency programs • ICN has helped members to address public restrictions on competition through its work on advocacy, particularly important with the crisis • ICN has developed bet practices in relation to substantive standards for mergers and cartels • Remarkable success in reducing the costs and burdens of multijurisdictional merger reviews

  10. Challenges for the future • Governance (more than 100 very diverse members, role of BRIC countries) • Level of engagement calling for more than a virtual structure? • Effectiveness – output or outcomes? • Substantive convergence • Regional networks