A global network of competition authorities is needed to boost anti-trust policy co-operation among developing and developed nations, EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti told the launch meeting of the OECD’s Global Forum on Competition in Paris in October.
The proposal, backed by the US in particular, would seek consensus on basic policy and enforcement and help countries that are developing anti-trust rules tackle the various commercial, political or cultural difficulties that can arise.
“In the globalised world,” said Mr Monti, “effective competition authorities are increasingly seen as the trustee, if not of good governance then certainly of the possibility of good governance.”
The proposal was just one of the issues addressed by the Global Forum at its first meeting on 17-18 October, which brought together representatives from the OECD’s 30 countries and 26 non-member governments. Focusing primarily on how competition policy can be effective in developing countries, delegates acknowledged that rules and implementation must take into account the size, level of economic development, legal environment and business culture of the countries concerned. They discussed several key issues, including merger control, anti-trust violations and hard-core cartels.
“The response has been overwhelming,” said the Forum’s chairman, Frederic Jenny of France’s Competition Council. “There is a great need for co-operation among [the world’s] competition authorities, in part due to the globalisation of the economy.”
Speaking after the meeting, Bernard Phillips, head of the OECD’s Competition Law and Development Division, said, “We want to see more and more countries take up competition laws. The work has scaled up considerably in the last year and will scale up again in the future.”
The next meeting of the Global Forum on Competition is scheduled for February 2002.
©OECD Observer No 229, November 2001