John Fingleton (UK OFT): An international perspective

 You have an economic background. Why did you decide to embrace a career in competition?

 After having chaired the Irish Competition Authority for 5 years, you became Chief Executive at the UK Office of Fair Trading. What are the main differences between the Irish and the UK competition framework both in terms of law and policy?

 You were reappointed Chief Executive of the UK OFT last year. Do you have any new objectives for your second mandate? Has the global economic crisis affected your priorities?

 With respect to the competition framework in UK, could you explain how the OFT, Competition Commission and sector regulars interact in implementing competition policy in the UK? In your view, what are the strengths and weaknesses of this institutional system in the UK?

 In your view, does the status of the UK OFT combining competition and consumer protection under the same hat help increase its visibility? Don’t you think this might lead to confusion about these two apparently distinct disciplines?

 On 27 April, the OFT issued its first advice under the new process called “the short-form opinion” allowing it to give firms clarity on certain competition law issues. What is the rationale for such a provision?

 You have just been re-elected Chair of the Steering Group of the International Competition Network. What are your main objectives during your tenure as Chair? What is your vision for the ICN in 2020?

 Nearly 10 years after its creation, the ICN has been extremely successful in promoting both competition law and policy internationally. However, there are still some areas of divergence between competition authorities around the world, particularly on substantive issues like unilateral conduct, which prevent the ICN from reaching clear consensus. Do you share this point of view?

 The ICN’s membership has rapidly increased to 112 agencies from 99 jurisdictions in the 9 years since its inception but some might argue that only the most advanced authorities are contributing to the ICN and thus benefiting from its work. Do you share this point of view? If yes, what will you do during your tenure to better involve young competition authorities?

Interview conducted by Stéphanie Yon-Courtin, French External Trade in Normandy.

2005 Chief Executive, Office of Fair Trading 2000-2005 Chairperson, Irish Competition Authority 1991-2000 Trinity College Dublin, Lecturer in Economics European Centre for Advanced Research in Economics, Université Libre de Bruxelles, July to December 1995 Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, visiting scholar, September 1998 to April 2000 1991 London School of Economics, Research Officer at Financial Markets Group, January to September 1987-91 Nuffield College Oxford, M. Phil. in Economics 1989, D. Phil. Middlemen 1991 1983-87 Trinity College Dublin Scholar 1985; BA (Mod) in Economics INTERVIEW You have an economic background. Why did you decide to embrace a career in competition? It was an accident with two key points. I had done a doctorate in microeconomics in

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John Fingleton, Stéphanie Yon-Courtin, John Fingleton (UK OFT): An international perspective, September 2010, Concurrences N° 3-2010, Art. N° 31869,

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