2020 ICN Virtual Annual Conference

The first-ever virtual ICN Annual Conference will take place from 14-17 September 2020. Our joint virtual hosts, the US DoJ and US FTC, together with the ICN Working Group Co-chairs have organized a compact conference week and a series of additional sessions that are linked to the main conference week but will take place later this year.


2020 ICN NGA Toolkit

The ICN has created a new guide for NGA engagement. This NGA toolkit has been produced to provide guidance to member agencies and to existing and prospective NGAs on NGA engagement. NGAs are competition experts from all backgrounds – lawyers and economists in private practice, inhouse
counsels, representatives of non-governmental international organizations, members of industry and consumer groups, academics and judges – who volunteer to contribute to the ICN’s work.

NGA Toolkit

2020 Annual Conference Postponed -- Update

Letter update from the Hosts and ICN Chair.

Dear ICN Members and Registered ICN Annual Conference attendees,

As we all follow developments regarding COVID-19. We would like to update you on the status of the ICN 2020 Annual Conference.

The conference is rescheduled as a virtual event in September to ensure that all of our attendees can enjoy the conference worry free.

 

For updates or questions, please contact the conference hosts.


ICN Steering Group Statement: Competition during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic

Today the ICN Steering Group issued a statement addressing key considerations related to competition law enforcement during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Link to Statement

The statement recognizes the unprecedented challenges that competition agencies are facing to maintain their enforcement missions during the pandemic. The statement reaffirms the relevance of competition to economies in crisis and urges member agencies to remain vigilant to anti-competitive conduct during the crisis. The statement recognizes the ability of agencies to evaluate and consider good faith efforts and limited collaborations among competitors to provide needed goods and services in making enforcement decisions, in line with applicable laws. It also encourages transparency with respect to operational and policy changes during the crisis and supports member agency advocacy efforts to promote competition as a guiding principle for economic recovery efforts in the aftermath of the pandemic.

The ICN Steering Group also noted its continued efforts to cooperate and share experiences across the network of competition enforcers during this challenging time.


2020 ICN Annual Conference

The U.S. competition agencies are pleased to be hosting the 2020 ICN Annual Conference!

ICN member authorities and NGAs nominated by their member authority are invited to participate in the conference.

For further information, please visit the 2020 ICN Annual Conference website or contact the conference hosts. The website includes information on accommodations, the conference venue, and events.

We look forward to welcoming the ICN community at the 2020 ICN Annual Conference!


2020 ICN Merger Workshop

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is pleased to be hosting the 2020 ICN Merger Workshop, which will be held on Thursday 27 February and Friday 28 February at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins in Melbourne, Australia.

The Workshop will build around the foundation question ‘How can authorities achieve the right balance in their approach to merger review in a changing market environment?’ through a range of topical plenary and small group sessions designed to cater to a broad range of interests among ICN Merger Working Group members and non-governmental advisors (NGAs).

ICN Merger Working Group member authorities and NGAs nominated by their member authority are invited to participate in the Workshop.

Registration for the Workshop is now open. Please register at 2020 ICN Merger Workshop registration, preferably by 1 December 2019 but no later than 24 January 2020.

For further information, please visit the ICN Merger Workshop 2020 website.


2019 ICN Cartel Workshop

2019 ICN Cartel Workshop

The Administrative Council for Economic Defense of Brazil will host the 2019 ICN Cartel Workshop, in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, from 7 to 10 October 2019. The venue of the workshop will be the Wish Resort Golf Convention.

The theme of the workshop is “Cartels in the Age of Data-Driven Economy” and it will focus on the paradoxical impact of data on cartels since it can be used to facilitate collusion and also help agencies to detect cartels. Some of the topics that will be discussed at the event are: delineation of cartel activities in a changing business environment; challenges and information management for data-driven markets; antitrust liability for software-based infringements; intelligence and screening tools; effective leniency and evidence assessment in the digital era; due process and cooperation tools.

The 2019 ICN Cartel Workshop is an invitation-only event. The admission will be reserved for ICN Competition Authorities members and NGAs.

For more information, please access https://icncartelworkshop2019.cade.gov.br/.


2019 Annual Conference Press Release

ICN’s 18th Annual Conference concluded today in Cartagena, Colombia.

See the ICN’s Press Release linked and in text below.

2019 ICN Annual Conference Press Release

NEWS RELEASE, 17 MAY 2019

CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA

Today, the International Competition Network (ICN) concluded its 18th annual conference with approval of new work on procedural fairness, vertical mergers, enforcement cooperation, agency organizational design, leniency, private enforcement, and vertical restraints. The conference took place 15-17 May in Cartagena, Colombia, hosted by Colombia’s Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio (SIC). Approximately 500 ICN member agency representatives, private sector non-governmental advisers, academics, and representative of other international organizations from over 80 jurisdictions attended the conference.

In his opening speech Andreas Mundt stated “There is no official overarching theme for the conference, but the clear focus is on two topics, first, on the digital economy, and second, on investigative process. The ICN CAP is a huge step forward in this regard.”

The plenary sessions inter alia dealt with the question of how agencies can uncover and punish cartels in the digital era, the assessment of dominance in digital and high tech sectors and agency restructuring to meet the challenges of digitalisation. A session limited to agency heads also focussed on digital issues.

The ICN introduced two new instruments on procedural fairness in competition law investigations and enforcement proceedings. The ICN Framework for Competition Agency Procedures (CAP) went into effect with over 60 agency participants. The CAP is an opt-in implementation framework with fundamental procedural fairness principles backed by cooperation and review provisions. The CAP principles are fully consistent with the extensive work of the ICN in this field, reflecting the broad consensus within the global competition community. The CAP allows for agency-to-agency dialogues to increase understanding of differences in agency procedures. It also promotes transparency about agency procedural rules through templates that explain how each participant’s procedures match CAP principles. The CAP is ICN’s third opt-in framework joining enforcement cooperation frameworks on mergers and cartels. The deadline for founding members is Wednesday, 22 May.

The ICN approved new Recommended Practices for Investigative Process (RPs) that address key procedural fairness themes of appropriate use of investigative tools, transparency, engagement with subjects or parties, agency decision making safeguards, and confidentiality. The ICN RPs are its highest-level consensus statements on procedural fairness practices approved by its membership.

The detailed recommendations for agency practices in the RPs, and the basic principles and implementation framework in the CAP provide a comprehensive package of procedural fairness guidance for competition agencies. The ICN’s consensus work on procedural fairness puts its member agencies voices at the forefront of international norm-setting on this important topic.

The ICN membership approved new work at the conference addressing several areas of competition law and policy. On cartels, the ICN approved new, detailed Good Practices for incentivising leniency, providing practical advice to agency on useful practices that have worked well around the world. The ICN’s cartel working group also produced a new report on the interaction of private and public enforcement. The ICN’s merger working group produced new practical tools for enforcement cooperation, including considerations for the types of information that can be shared, and an innovative comparative report on approaches to vertical merger analysis. On the topic of unilateral conduct, the ICN introduced its most comprehensive work on vertical restraints, a new comparative evaluation of approaches to common hypothetical cases studies. The conference also included the announcement of the winners of the 2018-2019 ICN-World Bank Competition Advocacy Contest. For more information on the contest, see https://www.worldbank.org/en/events/2018/12/06/2018-2019-competition-advocacy-contest#4.

The ICN also announced that its 2020 annual conference will take place in the United States, hosted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.

The ICN, founded in 2001, is the most inclusive and productive competition agency-led collaboration, with 139 member agencies from 126 jurisdictions. The ICN’s mission is to promote convergence of practices and cooperation among agencies.

All of the ICN’s work produce is available on its website at: https://www.internationalcompetitionnetwork.org/