Building New Competition Law Regimes

Building New Competition Law Regimes

Selected Essays

Edited by David Lewis

This detailed book focuses on the development of competition law institutions and contains case studies that examine this against the backdrop of the debate around global convergence of competition law and the limits imposed by particular national circumstances.

Chapter 7: Regional agreements

Alberto Heimler and Frédéric Jenny

Subjects: law - academic, competition and antitrust law


Fighting anticompetitive practices or transactions, whether domestic or international, is crucial for developing countries that are more prone than developed countries to being victimised by them. The awareness of the cost inflicted on developing countries by anticompetitive practices has increased significantly during the 2000s, and a large number of jurisdictions have adopted a competition law and set up a competition authority to fight them. This movement has been accelerated by the proliferation in the 1990s and the early 2000s of trade liberalisation agreements which have led domestic economies to be opened to com- petition and, as a result, accelerated the setting up of market-oriented institutions. Yet, as trade liberalisation has progressed, the gap between the rapid internationalisation of markets and the fragmentation of the systems of domestic antitrust laws has meant that competition authorities in developing countries have experienced considerable difficulties in fighting the transnational anticompetitive practices which originate abroad but have a negative effect on their domestic markets or to adequately intervene against transnational transactions initiated in other countries but affecting their home markets. To try to address this problem, the international competition community has experimented with a number of possible solutions ranging from a failed attempt to promote a multilateral cooperation system in the area of competition to voluntary bilateral cooperation agreements between developed and developing countries. So far, those solutions have been mostly unsuccessful and frustrating for developing countries. Regional agreements on cooperation in competition seem to be more promising largely because the cooperating countries may have more of an incentive

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