Chapter 12: International aspects of competition law enforcement
The importance of international cooperation is made clear by the benefits enjoyed from the harmonisation of competition law and policy in increasing the numbers of parallel investigations in several jurisdictions. Further, the Commissionís severe investigation of competition cases and its power to impose huge fines, its extraterritorial application of EU competition law, and more generally the distinctive character of EU competition law, which occasionally leads to outcomes that diverge from those produced under US law, have been drawing attention in many parts of the world, and Japan is no exception. In more and more multi-jurisdictional mergers and international cartel cases, the EU and Japan conduct parallel investigations and cooperate with each other. For Japan, international aspects of competition law have been related more to pressure from foreign jurisdictions than to cooperation with foreign agencies. Japan has been subject to foreign pressure for at least the last 20 years.The most well-known source of external pressure, often linked to conflicts in the sphere of international trade, has been the US. But the EU has exerted some direct and indirect influence as well, although this influence has been based more on the form of cooperation than on pressure. In the context of competition policy and enforcement, and in addition to contacts between case teams on specific cases, the EU and Japan launched as early as 1980 an ongoing practice of information exchange meetings for the purpose of enhancing cooperation.
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