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AuthorUnited Nations Conference on Trade and Development
TitleExperiences Gained So Far on International Cooperation on Competition Policy Issues and the Mechanisms
Imprint Geneva, United Nations. 2001
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Descript 36 p


Revised report by the UNCTAD secretariat. This report focuses on three types of international instruments dealing with competition law and policy, namely: bilateral or tripartite competition law enforcement cooperation agreements; free trade, customs union or common market agreements; and multilateral instruments. The implementation of such agreements has helped to minimize conflicts among Governments and to facilitate enforcement in this area. However, several concerns continue to impede the further development of enforcement cooperation. Moreover, developing countries have not so far significantly participated in such cooperation. To overcome such impediments and to promote the participation of developing countries, it would be necessary to build up mutual confidence gradually, by evolving from simple to more complex cooperation agreements. Balanced cooperation among developing countries would provide a learning experience and help ensure that cooperation with more advanced partners was fruitful. Free trade or common market agreements might provide a conducive framework for this purpose, but regional rules, institutions and mechanisms would need to be adapted accordingly, and a degree of compatibility ensured among national, subregional and interregional competition regimes. The consultations mechanism established under the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices might be used to discuss how this might be done and what might be the appropriate balance between convergence and diversity in competition laws and policies; it might also promote cooperation in specific cases. Such consultations could provide an input to the ongoing discussions or any future negotiations within the World Trade Organization or a Global Competition Forum (should it be established). Moreover, in order to implement the mandate provided by the Fourth Review Conference, the IGE might adopt a "bottom-up" approach, giving priority to the examination of: (a) provisions contained in relevant OECD recommendations or bilateral cooperation agreements which might be included in a model (or models) of cooperation agreements; (b) on a comparative basis, the rules and procedures applicable to cooperation on competition law and policy within the framework of free trade, partnership, common market or single market agreements; (c) how such cooperation provisions in all these types of agreements would work in hypothetical cases, particularly those involving mergers or cartels with an international character, with the aim of eventually facilitating consultations upon real cases; and (d) how the principle of preferential or differential treatment for developing countries might be reflected in this context. This would prepare the ground for a subsequent assessment of the possible implications that might be drawn for a balanced multilateral regime in this area and how diversity and compatibility/convergence among national, bilateral, regional and multilateral regimes might be catered for or reconciled in peer reviews, mediation or alternative arrangements

International Institute for Trade and Developement : UNCTAD CollectionTD/B/COM.2/CLP/21CHECK SHELVES

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