Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series
Edited by John Duns, Arlen Duke and Brendan Sweeney
Chapter 11: Public enforcement
Competition law can be enforced in two ways: by public enforcement agencies or by private action brought by a victim of anti-competitive conduct (considered in Chapter 14). This chapter focusses on public enforcement. The first section introduces the reader to the various public enforcement models. Drawing on jurisdictions discussed elsewhere in this volume to provide examples, these models, and the potential strengths and weaknesses of particular agency models, are examined. The second section of the chapter examines the methods employed by enforcement agencies to detect potential breaches. It also outlines the investigatory powers typically conferred upon enforcement agencies and methods used. The final section examines a range of enforcement strategies undertaken to secure compliance with competition laws. Kovacic and Eversley are correct when they note that: The design of a jurisdiction’s administrative infrastructure can have a decisive influence on the type and quality of policy outcomes that a competition system achieves. Both older and newer competition systems have come to realize that a body of competition laws is only as good as the institutions entrusted with their implementation. As are Trebilcock and Iacobucci in their observation that when it comes to competition law institutions around the world, there is a ‘striking diversity of institutional designs’. Kovacic and Hyman also correctly note: ‘The enforcement of competition law entails several discrete tasks: the investigation of possible wrongdoing, the decision to prosecute, the determination of culpability and the imposition of sanctions.
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