The International Competition Network (ICN) Steering Group has issued a statement addressing key considerations related to competition law enforcement during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The ICN is the most important network of competition authorities worldwide. It comprises 140 competition agencies from 129 jurisdictions. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt, has been the ICN Steering Group Chair since September 2013. Andreas Mundt: “In the current crisis, antitrust authorities need to be vigilant and at the same time act with a sense of proportion. The worldwide exchange of experience and considerations is essential for the right reactions to this global challenge. With its statement the ICN provides its member agencies with guidance on how to demonstrate an adequate degree of flexibility and at the same time maintain competition to create the best environment for economic recovery.”
The ICN Steering Group statement recognizes the challenges facing competition agencies. It reaffirms the relevance of competition and urges member agencies to remain vigilant to anticompetitive conduct. The statement recognizes the ability of agencies to evaluate and consider good faith efforts to provide needed goods and services in making enforcement decisions. It also encourages transparency with respect to operational and policy adjustments and supports member agency advocacy efforts to promote competition as a guiding principle for economic recovery efforts. The ICN Steering Group noted its continued efforts to cooperate and share experiences across the network of enforcers during this challenging time.