Monday, December 22, 2008
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
D. Daniel Sokol of the University of Florida Levin College of Law (i.e., your blog editor) has a forthcoming essay in Competition Policy International on Change and Continuity in International Antitrust under an Obama Administration. The essay is my contribution to a forthcoming online symposium that will try to predict the future of antitrust under an Obama administration.
Obama administration inherits an international antitrust situation that
is relatively better than the one that the Bush team inherited.
Antitrust coordination and cooperation with agencies around the world
have never been better. There has been an emergence of best practices
across a number of different areas, both substantive and technical. On
these issues, I expect that there will be no significant shifts in
priority, except perhaps a less forceful approach on monopolization
issues. Cooperation and harmonization will continue as will the support
of technical assistance.
On the margins, the US agencies may need to refine the message of competition so that market reform does not mean a lack of regulation, just better regulation that protects consumers from anti-competitive harm. Leadership changes may play an important role on a personal level and poor leadership may impact the ability to progress on many issues. International issues should remain a priority merely because of an ever increasing global role of China and other countries and an ever expanding European Union. Yet, the emergence of China and other countries onto the antitrust scene will create new challenges, which the current financial crisis will compound in terms of analytical harmonization about single firm conduct and the proper role of the state in the economy.