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Is There Too Much Traffic On The Competition Law Enforcement Autostrada: A Role for Negative Comity?

Terry Calvani and Justin Stewart-Teitelbaum, International Antitrust Law and Policy: Fordham Competition Law, 2016

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In 1990, when one of the authors departed from the United States Federal Trade Commission (“USFTC”), American competition enforcement agencies investigated matters that were almost entirely domestic. The same was true of foreign competition enforcement agencies: the Americans investigated American matters; the Germans investigated German matters. There were few, if any, multijurisdictional pre-merger notification filings; there were no international cartel investigations. Moreover, there was little professional contact among enforcement officials except for the annual Fordham Conference, periodic United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (“UNCTAD”) competition meetings, and the Paris meetings of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) (for those few countries that were members). While a good number of countries had competition laws and agencies to enforce them, antitrust was largely an American enterprise. The antitrust enforcement autostrada was a relatively open road with room to cruise.

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