The Future of International Competition Law Enforcement

An Assessment of the EU’s Cooperation Efforts


While forces of globalization have created a genuine global marketplace, global rules safeguarding the competitive process in this marketplace have not emerged. International cooperation among national regulators and enforcers is therefore needed to create a competitive global business-environment. The Future of International Competition Law Enforcement, using the variety of legal instruments available to the EU as a point of departure, undertakes an original assessment of the EU's cooperation agreements in the field of competition law The work’s focus is on the bilateral sphere, often labelled as a mere 'interim-solution' awaiting a global agreement; further attention is given to competition provisions in free trade agreements as well as the main multilateral initiatives in this field, in order to determine their relative value.

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Biographical Note

Valerie Demedts defended her PhD on 23 October 2017 at Ghent University, Belgium. Currently she works as a case handler for the Belgian Competition Authority. She published many articles relating to international cooperation in competition law enforcement sensu lato.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Introduction: Ready, Willing, and Able? PART 1 Trial and Error in the Development of International Competition Law Enforcement Cooperation 1 Need for International Competition Cooperation  1.1 Globalisation  1.2 Proliferation of Competition Laws and Increase in Enforcement Activity 2 Four Axes of International Competition Cooperation  2.1 Multilateralism v Bilateralism  2.2 Enforcement Cooperation v Convergence/Harmonisation  2.3 Formal v Informal Cooperation  2.4 Hard v Soft Law 3 Origins of International Competition Cooperation  3.1 External Events Overthrew Early Multilateral Initiatives  3.2 Extraterritoriality Emerged as Default Solution  3.3 Multilateral Efforts Continue to Fail  3.4 The OECD Recommendations and the Switch to the Bilateral Level 4 Intermediate Conclusion Part 1 PART 2 An Assessment of the EU’s Dedicated Competition Cooperation Agreements 1 Benchmarks  1.1 Introduction  1.2 Measurable Benchmarks 2 First Generation Agreements: A Costly Way to Create and Maintain Momentum  2.1 Context of Conclusion of the EU-US Agreement  2.2 Cooperation Mechanisms in the EU-US Agreement  2.3 Legal Nature  2.4 Use of the EU-US Agreements  2.5 Assessment 3 Second Generation Agreements: Ignoring Crucial Issues  3.1 A Strong Call for Intensified Cooperation  3.2 The EU-Switzerland Second Generation Agreement  3.3 Limited Use of Existing Second Generation Agreements  3.4 A Particular Challenge: The Concept of ‘Confidential Information’  3.5 Concerns About the Exchange of Confidential Information and How They are Addressed by the EU-Switzerland Agreement  3.6 Assessment Based on Benchmarks 4 Alternatives and Complements: Workable or Not?  4.1 Alternative Cooperation Mechanisms in the Field of Competition Law  4.2 Cooperation in Other Policy Fields 5 Intermediate Conclusion Part 2 PART 3 Dedicated Agreements versus Integration in a Broader Framework 1 Substantive Integration: Competition in the Global Trade System—A Cautionary Tale  1.1 Relevance and Scope  1.2 Emergence of Competition Chapters in FTAS  1.3 Competition Chapters in Bilateral EU FTAS : From Traditional FTAS Over Post-Global Europe FTAS to Mega- FTAS  1.4 The Rationale for Inclusion: Pro’s and Con’s 2 Geographical Integration: The Multilateral Approach  2.1 Different Multilateral Forums with Distinct Challenges 3 Intermediate Conclusion Part 3 Conclusion: Ready, but not Willing or Able Selected Bibliography Index


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