Chapter 7: The role of comity and cooperation
Concerns associated with the assertion of extraterritorial jurisdiction of competition law have been tempered to a degree by increasing recourse to considerations of comity and by a series of formal bilateral cooperation agreements and institutional recommendations and best practices relating to merger activity. This Chapter first discusses the extent to which comity, whether as an inherent courtesy influencing national courts and regulators, or as a more formal obligation stemming from bilateral and multilateral agreements, has influenced national merger enforcement actions and the role of cooperation in increasing merger review efficiency and limiting jurisdictional conflict. It then considers the nature and scope of existing bilateral and multilateral competition law agreements and their role in promoting cooperation and convergence in relation to the review of transnational mergers, including the work of the OECD and ICN in relation to cooperation and convergence of merger law and procedure. Comity does not form a part of public or private international law, but refers generally to nonbinding state practices which reflect a 'courtesy' and respect between nations of the laws and interests of other nations. These range from practices such as saluting flags of foreign warships at sea, to more substantial considerations of foreign legal and political interests when determining whether to pursue domestically a legal claim which affects the interests of other nations.
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