Antitrust in Emerging and Developing Countries: Press Reports

Reports by RYAN LYNCH, PaRR (c)

Competition enforcers should put cards ‘face up’

Competition authority leaders ought to provide a clear sense of an agency’s priorities, according to William Kovacic, former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Most of the world’s competition agencies have multi-member leadership boards similar to that of the FTC, as opposed to the one-person leadership of the Department of Justice (DoJ), Kovacic told attendees at the Antitrust in Emerging and Developing Countries conference hosted by New York University School of Law on 24 October.

Kovacic said it is “stunning” how often the non-chair commissioners dislike the chairperson. The non-chairpersons often think they would do a better job than the chair, he explained. As a result, some of the non-chairs engage in “look at me” behavior and attempt to “grab the wheel” that guides agency enforcement.

Coherence within an agency can be difficult when there are multiple leaders, and it is the responsibility of top leadership to explain priorities, Kovacic said. Any occasion in which a leader does not provide transparency and disclosure of priorities is a “lost opportunity”, he added.

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  • ESSEC Business School (Cergy)
  • United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
  • New York University
  • Indian Competition Commission (New Delhi)
  • NYU School of Law (New York)
  • DG COMP (Brussels)
  • South Africa Competition Appeal Court (Pretoria)