Is soft convergence enough?

As competition rules spread globally, «soft convergence» became the key strategy to reduce conflicts. While its achievements are laudable, the strategy has evident limits. For example, the questionable accuracy of the procedures by which harsh remedies are applied is an area of concern where there has been slight progress. Is this an area where «hard convergence» might be tried?

Three waves of rising antitrust enforcement have inundated the globe since the 1980's. First, scores of jurisdictions created new laws and agencies or turbocharged old ones. Second, enforcement agencies formed numerous links - bilateral and multilateral, formal and informal - for mutual support and conflict management. Finally, in the present wave, aggressive enforcement tools are proliferating rapidly: mandatory merger review, criminal or quasi-criminal cartel remedies (and leniency programs) and collective private redress. The ultimate result is a world covered with a dense net of agencies and rules, unevenly enforced, with the potential for harsh remedies, posing enormous new costs and complexities for private firms that must comply. The possibility of interagency conflicts and

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  • GMU Antonin Scalia Law School (Arlington)


Tad Lipsky, Is soft convergence enough?, February 2011, Concurrences N° 1-2011, Art. N° 33931,

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