Chapter 18: International Competition Law Harmonisation and The WTO: Past, Present and Future
Jurgita Malinauskaite* Introduction The globalisation process together with technological advancements, dilution of trade barriers and liberalisation as well as privatisation programmes, has shaped the global landscape, which has resulted in the augmentation of cross-border businesses. The expansion of businesses beyond national borders has raised the issues of international anti-competitive practices. On the one hand, businesses are becoming international, whereas competition laws are national with their curbs and limits. Due to these boundaries, national competition authorities are unable to address international anti-competitive behaviour effectively, especially if the authority lacks experience, knowledge or resources and does not have vision when the anti-competitive issues transcend their domestic boundaries. As a result, some international anticompetitive transactions can escape effective regulatory mechanism, which is known as under-regulation. On the other hand, globalisation and therefore international anti-competitive practices have driven competition authorities to apply their laws beyond national boundaries. Many countries have introduced the extra-territoriality principle, where national competition authorities apply their domestic law to extra-territorial conduct that has effects in their nations. Hence, extra-territorial effects of competition bring various countries’ competition laws into contact and quite often into confrontation. Apart from the harm that may be caused to the relationships between the different countries, conflicting results may be damaging to the firms concerned, as their transactions are subjected to investigation by various competition authorities worldwide. This phenomenon is known as over-regulation. For instance, if a cross-border merger was approved by one side of the Atlantic, but blocked * Lecturer in Law, Brunel University, UK. 323 324...
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