Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Anti-Corruption and Antitrust Connection

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Josh Goodman (FTC) analyzes The Anti-Corruption and Antitrust Connection.

ABSTRACT: Three major U.S. aerospace companies stand accused of bribing foreign government officials to secure jet aircraft sales. The defendant companies settle the charges by entering into consent orders that require them to adopt new compliance policies for documenting their foreign payments. No—these are not the details of the latest Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) case. These are the facts behind a trio of 1978 consent orders resolving antitrust law complaints brought by the Federal Trade Commission against Lockheed, Boeing, and McDonnell Douglas. As these cases illustrate, antitrust law and foreign corruption law in the United States have a long, yet often overlooked, shared history. The past decade has witnessed a resurgence in U.S. anti-corruption enforcement, and several cases in that time period serve to illustrate the parallel trends and convergences between the FCPA and the antitrust laws. Three such trends are particularly striking: (1) the rise of a compliance-focused enforcement model, (2) cases that combine antitrust and anti-corruption claims, and (3) an increase in international enforcement coordination and harmonization.

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