Challenges of international co-operation in competition law enforcement


Globalisation has not only affected the world economy as a whole but also the way competition policy works - the increase of cross-border business activities has brought a new international dimension to many competition cases and the number of competition agencies worldwide skyrocketed (from 20 in 1990 to 120 in 2013).

This increases the complexity of co-operation in multi-jurisdictional cases and can sometimes lead to inconsistent decisions and unchallenged illegal conduct.

With trends of international business activities increasing in the future, and young competition authorities becoming more active, it is expected that effective co-operation becomes even more complicated.

To overcome potential failures, new and enhanced methods of competition law co-operation should be explored.

This paper presents evidence of the increase in complexity of cross-border co operation in competition law and discusses future challenges and policy options for the effective and consistent enforcement of competition.

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Executive summary

  1. Introduction
  2. Historical background
  3. The demand drivers for competition law enforcement 
  4. Costs of enforcement disagreements: mergers and cartels
  5. Future developments
  6. Conclusion

Annex - The Co-operation Complexity Index 



This document was first presented at the May 2014 Council Meeting at Ministerial Level in the framework of the OECD Initiative on New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC).

At the time this report was prepared, an update of the 1995 Recommendation on co-operation between member countries on anticompetitive practices (the 1995 Recommendation) was being considered by the OECD Competition Committee. 

Given the committee's work and the results from this report on challenges of international co-operation, the OECD Council adopted in September 2014 the 2014 Recommendation on international co-operation on competition Investigations and proceedings. 

Read more on the 2014 Recommendation

Read more on NAEC




2014 Recommendation on International Co-operation

More OECD work on Competition International Co-operation 

OECD-ICN International Co-operation Survey

Cross-border merger control: challenges for developing and emerging economies

OECD Competition website

All Best Practice roundtables on Competition

Global Forum on Competition

OECD Competition Global Relations 




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