Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Criminal Antitrust Law

For those interested in the criminal side of antitrust law, a nice overview is provided by Melissa Pientka in Antitrust Violations, 41 American Criminal Law Review 267 (Spring 2004). Here's a sample:

"In October 2001, the Antitrust Division and FTC launched the International Competition Network ("ICN"). Established largely in response to the new challenges in antitrust enforcement created by increased globalization, the ICN is a global network of authorities focused exclusively on competition. The twin goals of the ICN are to provide support for new competition agencies in enforcing their laws and building a strong culture of competition within their countries, and to work together and with interested parties in the private sector to develop guiding principles and best practices. The ICN presently includes seventy jurisdictions on six continents, representing seventy percent of the world's GDP.

"The ICN exists as a "virtual" network through which agency heads commission and guide the efforts of smaller working groups focused on specific areas of competition law. Government personnel direct the working groups themselves, receiving input from a wide range of sources. These sources include international organizations, academics, and industry groups. The working groups then present their recommendations to the members, and the members implement the recommendations through separate legislation.

"The ICN undertook two major projects during its first year of existence. The first addressed multi-jurisdictional mergers, and the second examined competition advocacy, an issue of particular importance to developing countries. Both projects were unprecedented efforts in the international antitrust arena. Although the ICN is not meant to be a forum for reaching binding international agreements, the reports produced in connection with these two projects evince a willingness by the United States and the world community for cooperation in the antitrust arena."

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