2016 Global Forum on Competition
1-2 December 2016 Paris
The 15th meeting of the OECD Global Forum on Competition took place in Paris, France on 1-2 December 2016. Discussions focused on:
DAY 1 SESSIONS
Opening Remarks by Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa | Bio
Keynote Speech by Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition | Bio
Introductory comments by Frédéric Jenny, Chair, OECD Competition Committee
Session 1. Promoting competition, protecting human rights
Competition law enforcement depends on an effective system of human rights, most obviously the right to property, the right to contract and rights to due legal process. Policies promoting competition between providers can also be effective in supporting human rights more broadly, for example through providing checks on the power of corporations, as well through helping fight corruption in government. However, economic competition itself is occasionally portrayed as harming human rights along with social values, for example through “social dumping, or environmental damage. This session brought experts from the competition and human rights policy communities into dialogue, to understand better each other’s one another’s perspectives and to explore the ways in which any apparent conflicts between their objectives can be resolved.
Session 2. The role of market studies as a tool to promote competition
This session discussed the results of a recent survey by the OECD on market studies, summarising similarities across jurisdictions, significant differences as well as their pros and cons.
Session 3. Independence of competition authorities - from designs to practices
Agency independence is often taken to be a key element of effective enforcement of competition rules. However, given that agencies face different sets of political, legal, administrative, economic and cultural conditions, it is not possible to define any one fit-for-all model that can guarantee formal or informal independence and insulate them against political pressures.
This session aimed to outline these general principles which are mainly related to the legal framework under which an agency is set up. In addition to legal and structural safeguards, the session shed highlights on the importance of effective enforcement and advocacy efforts that agencies can undertake as a tool for enhancing independence, and discussed the initiatives that can be taken by the agencies regardless of their formal structures.
Session 4. Sanctions in antitrust cases
Competition law offenders are often subject to fines which impose a cost on those companies or individuals undertaking illegal anticompetitive conduct. Breaking competition laws is profitable if it goes undetected. Fines play a role in deterrence by making unlawful conduct less profitable. This discussion addressed how sanctions including fines are applied in various jurisdictions and benefited from participating delegations' enforcement experiences.
Breakout sessions: Sanctions in antitrust cases
Wrap-up plenary session
Other business and proposals for future work