A Multi-National Approach
Page 175 11— An Historic Case: The Kodak/Fuji Dispute Introduction The WTO is a multilateral body designed to regulate government behaviour through agreed obligations. Its rules do not cover the conduct of private firms and there is no provision for ruleofreason assessment of the market impact of private business conduct (see WTO, 1998b, p. 173) nor of market structures themselves, although private actions may be deemed to be affected by government measures (WTO, 1998b, p. 387). Even if there were such provisions, the WTO operates within a market access/trade framework and not a competition framework. Essentially it is governed by market access objectives and concerns about the impact of government measures on trade and its possible nullification or impairment. As the result of a trade dispute between the US and Japan, the US took a complaint to the WTO relating to its exports to Japan of photographic film and paper. This has become known as the Kodak/Fuji dispute but the full name of the case adjudicated by the WTO Panel was Japan—Measures Affecting Consumer Photographic Film and Paper. This is a major case which illustrates the procedures and the problems of dispute settlement in relation to competition matters in the WTO. Kodak and Fuji Film are private firms. A WTO panel could not therefore be asked to rule on the conduct of those firms nor on the impact of their conduct on competition in the relevant market. More specifically, a panel could not determine whether or not...
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