- Elgar original reference
Edited by Ariel Ezrachi
Chapter 4: Building global antitrust standards: the ICN’s practicable approach
In October 2001, 15 competition agencies announced the creation of the International Competition Network (‘ICN’). The idea for the enterprise stemmed from the realization that antitrust authorities, business people, and experts lacked a suitable forum for the sharing of views and experiences, for close cooperation, and for exploration of common issues that could lead to broad acceptance of standards for competition law enforcement and policy. While organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (‘OECD’) and the World Trade Organization (‘WTO’) addressed global antitrust issues, each of these organizations had limited capacity to build a broad ‘community’ of regulatory agencies that could create a universal consensus concerning the principles of competition law and the process of enforcement. The perceived need to create a new mechanism to foster convergence emerged at the end of the 20th century. Several disputes between individual jurisdictions had shown that competition problems were increasingly global; yet no effective venue to address these issues existed. The differing approaches between the US and EU in high-profile merger cases such as the proposed acquisitions of McDonnell Douglas by Boeing and Honeywell by General Electric vividly illustrated the stark contrast in enforcement policies that can arise between different nation states.
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