WHAT’S THE ROLE OF COMITY IN THE INTERNATIONAL ANTITRUST ENFORCEMENT?
Chief Justice Diane P. WOOD
Bill KOVACIC (Director of the George Washington Competition Law Center) welcomed the audience and opened the conference by remarking the importance of extraterritoriality in antitrust enforcement. Kovacic highlighted the increase in number of existing competition plus authorities (currently approximately 130) and the fact that some of them are becoming very powerful in practice. Kovacic discussed how the USA ‘monopoly’ relating to antitrust enforcement became a US-EU duopoly when the EC adopted its first merger regulations. These days, an oligopoly is being developed, particularly with China, South Africa, India, and Brazil.
Consequently, international transactions as well as monopoly cases are being structured differently. Kovacic anticipated that soon eight to ten gatekeepers will be key to the structuring of business transactions. Against this background, Kovacic concluded that there is disappointment as to comity not having had a stronger role.