Link to the OECD/ICN Report on International Co-operation in Competition Enforcement

OECD/ICN Report on International Co-operation in Competition Enforcement

21 January 2021 – The ICN and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have published their first Joint Report on International Enforcement Co-operation (Report).

Improving effective enforcement co-operation between competition authorities has been a priority for the ICN and OECD for many years. Both organisations have engaged in initiatives to build international competition enforcement co-operation and developed a substantial body of resources and policy guidance designed to improve both formal and informal enforcement co-operation.

Key findings of the Report

The Report outlines key aspects of the current state of international enforcement co-operation between competition authorities. The key findings regarding the past and current status of international enforcement co-operation are:

  • There has been an overall increase in international enforcement co‑operation across all enforcement areas;
  • Authorities use various legal bases for enforcement co-operation, although there are some long-standing legal barriers to effective international enforcement co‑operation;
  • Authorities derive significant benefits from international enforcement co-operation, regardless of their respective size and level of maturity;
  • Enforcement co-operation within regions (including through specific regional arrangements) is one of the most significant and successful types of co-operation for authorities, including for those outside highly developed and mature regional enforcement co-operation arrangements; and
  • Key challenges and limitations to effective enforcement co-operation remain (e.g. legal limitations, resourcing, co-ordination/timing, trust/reciprocity and other practical issues such as language and time differences) and while some are an inherent and ongoing part of engaging in international enforcement co-operation (such as managing limited resources).

The findings are enriched by case studies of successful cooperation, examples of cooperation agreements and provisions, ICN and OECD resources and tools for cooperation, as well as an overview of several regional cooperation networks.

The Report follows a first survey on international enforcement co-operation by the ICN and OECD in 2012, which resulted in two separate reports, one from the ICN and one from the OECD.

Proposed future areas of focus and development

The Report also proposes future areas of focus and development for consideration by competition authorities, the ICN, the OECD and other interested parties to address the challenges identified. These include:

  • Developing further enforcement co-operation work-products and networks;
  • Improving transparency and trust;
  • Providing policy and practical support for further developing effective regional enforcement co-operation; and
  • Removing substantive and legal barriers to co-operation.

Your feedback and suggestions

Following the approval of the Report, the ICN Steering Group has created a special project group to consider and co-ordinate issues relating to international enforcement co-operation with ICN working groups. This special project group includes the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Hungarian Competition Authority, the Italian Competition Authority, the Portuguese Competition Authority and the US Federal Trade Commission.

If you have questions, comments or would like to engage in the ICN’s work on international co-operation and competition, please contact: alessandra.tonazzi@agcm.it, icn.oecd.liaison@concorrencia.pt.