News Release: ICN 2020 Annual Conference

Quality, Spirit and Professionalism

International Competition Network discusses digital economy and announces full self-evaluation of ICN

The International Competition Network (ICN) held its 19th annual conference on September 14-17, 2020. The conference was the ICN’s first virtual conference. Originally planned as an in-person conference in Los Angeles in May, the conference transitioned to a virtual format as a result of 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, ICN Chair and President of the Bundeskartellamt: “Over 2500 delegates from around the world participated in the conference. I want to thank our host agencies FTC and DOJ, the ICN working group co-chairs and everyone involved.”

Andreas Mundt opened the conference and spoke on a panel on remedies in unilateral conduct cases involving digital markets. Other sessions dealt with competition enforcement in the digital economy, big data and cartelization, competition advocacy in the digital age, merger investigations in the digital sector, and competition agencies’ strategies to address the challenges of the digital economy. Additional sessions dedicated to younger agencies, ICN Non-Governmental Advisors and economists took place on conference day four.

The ICN also announced plans for a full self-evaluation of the network, the “Third Decade Review”. Andreas Mundt: “ICN will turn 20 next year and we will look at tools, structure and topics to shape the ICN for its third decade. The ICN is well equipped to keep on improving and developing, maybe the most important skill these days. Quality, spirit and professionalism will enable the ICN to tackle the issues that matter for its members.”

A recording of the conference will be available on the ICN conference webpage after the close of the conference. Supplemental annual conference programming will be held throughout the fall.

ICN work products, the ICN working group work plans and additional information on future events are available on the ICN website.

2020 Annual Conference

19th Annual International Competition Network Conference starts today

The International Competition Network’s (ICN) 19th annual conference opens today at 8:00am EDT/2:00pm CEST and runs through Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. The network’s first-ever virtual annual conference will be co-hosted by the US Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

Originally planned as an in-person event in Los Angeles in May, the multi-day conference features discussions across a range of competition enforcement and policy issues, particularly those that involve the digital economy, and highlights the progress of the ICN working groups on mergers, cartels, unilateral conduct, advocacy and agency effectiveness. Conference participants include leaders and staff of ICN member agencies, competition experts from international organizations, and non-governmental advisors (NGAs) from the legal, business, and academic communities. 

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt and ICN Chair said, “The 2020 ICN Annual Conference has a clear focus: the digital economy. This is where we as enforcers are in the spotlight and have to deliver results. We are on track but we need to carry the momentum into our agencies and multiply it in the ICN. Our co-hosts did a great job transforming the L.A. conference into a virtual event.”

Registration is not required. The web address to attend is available on the ICN 2020 Virtual Annual Conference’s website.

2020 ICN Virtual Annual Conference

The first 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

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 (also available in Portuguese)

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 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

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



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

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: