Thursday, November 22, 2012
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
As people in the United States celebrate with friends and family, there are a number of things that I am thankful for both personally and with regard to antitrust.
- Rule of Law
- Democratic and peaceful elections
- Religious freedom
- Hello Kitty (my girls really love Hello Kitty)
- DOJ Antitrust's international cartel efforts. I may have some problems on the margins with the leniency program (I think that certain tweaks can make it more effective) but leniency has fundamentally transformed detection of cartels. The world is better off because of Scott Hammond and his team in the Antitrust Criminal Enforcement group and similar cartel units around the world. I would add that the introduction of leniency has been the most important antitrust policy globally of the past 25 years.
- Merger guidelines. Do people remember a world without merger guidelines? The most lasting antitrust improvement of the past 50 years globally has been the introduction of merger guidelines to provide greater certainty and better decision-making about merger control.
- Dedicated antitrust/competition enforcers. Wherever I go around the world, I am always impressed with the great dedication that enforcers have to promote competition. They toil through long hours and intellectually difficult issues to try to make the world better and do so at a fraction of the pay of their private sector counterparts. When we think of government heroes, we tend to think of people such as police or firefighters. Antitrust enforcers also play an important role in protecting us and deserve our great respect and gratitude.