TERHECHTE Jörg Philipp Springer, 2011, 96 p.

International Competition Enforcement Law between Cooperation and Convergence, Jörg Philipp TERHECHTE

Jörg-Philipp Terhechte

Legal and economic literature has traditionally looked at competition law primarily from a substantive law viewpoint. This is true also with reference to international competition law. Enforcement of competition law within an international perspective has, on the contrary, scarcely attracted attention. In the last decade or so, this specific topic has received more attention by competition authorities and policy makers. International Competition Enforcement Law Between Cooperation and Convergence represents one of the first scholarly contributions to this new field of legal research.

The starting point of this rather concise book is that, contrary to competition substantive law where a convergence of national, international and supranational law is witnessed, the field of competition enforcement law is still characterized by a wide variety of approaches and rules. Drawing on this premise, and discussing the most notable national procedural rules and their interrelationship with supranational and international law, the book focuses on the possibility “to delineate the general structures and basic principles of International Competition Enforcement Law” (p. vii). The analysis, delivered by the author in a modest 77 pages divided into five chapters, is carried out from the viewpoint of two concepts: cooperation, intended as institutionalized collaboration, and convergence, defined as gradual approximation of different procedural regimes.

In the introductory Chapter, after setting his analysis in the broader perimeter of that area of research better known as “Global Administrative Law”, the author discusses some basic concepts of the subject matter of “International Competition Enforcement Law”, which is defined as “the sum of legal norms and those established by development of law by courts that concern – at national, supranational or international level – the execution of rules which relate to: horizontal and vertical restraints of competition; abuse of dominant position and/or merger control” (pp. 5-6), and provides readers with some details on the methodology applied in the book.

Chapter 2 is focused on cooperation between competition authorities as a guiding principle of international competition enforcement law. The author claims that the enhanced cooperation existing with regard to decisions that present an international dimension is due to the globalization of competition restrictions and the consequently necessary globalization of competition policy. The author then briefly examines different forms of cooperation (networks, administrative cooperation and cooperation with private entities), identifying the main limits of such cooperation in the differences in the implementation of various procedures, the standard of protection and the question of transparency with regard to outside actors.

The third Chapter discusses factors accelerating convergence of procedural law in international competition law (with particular attention to developments in the area of criminal enforcement, use of leniency programs, private enforcement and Governmental cooperation), introducing readers to different sources of law for international competition enforcement law.

Finally, in Chapter 4 the author looks at cooperation between competition authorities as a way to contribute to establishing a greater convergence of proceedings. With regard to the content of cooperation, and in consideration that competition authorities primarily exchange information, the author highlights the role that modern electronic communication systems (internet, blogs and special research tools developed by universities or institutions such as the World Bank and the OECD) can play in facilitating and enhancing such cooperation. Of course, in the development of this cooperation an important role is played by institutional actors such as the International Competition Network, the OECD and UNCTAD.

In the final fifth Chapter, the author summarizes the results of his analysis.

One weakness of this book is that it is often too concise for the scope of the analysis proposed. The author sketches interesting arguments that he does not develop enough or that are lacking of an appropriate setting. For instance, in Chapter 4, the exposition is limited in the extreme regarding the international organizations mentioned. Even the interesting reference to the Draft International Antitrust Code would have benefited from a more detailed and discursive context. But this is, after all a very minor criticism.

International Competition Enforcement Law Between Cooperation and Convergence is a valuable work. Any future work in this area will no doubt have to rely on this seminal work. With its clear structure and argument, this book will prove to be essential reading for all academics, antitrust enforcers and policy makers involved in the enforcement of competition law.

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Stéphane Rodrigues, International Competition Enforcement Law between Cooperation and Convergence, Jörg Philipp TERHECHTE, February 2012, Concurrences Review N° 1-2012, Art. N° 42036, pp. 262-263

Editor Springer

Date 28 March 2011

Number of pages 112

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