OECD report on the OECD/ICN Survey on International Competition Enforcement Co-operation, 2013


 More recent work on this topic: OECD/ICN Report on International Co-operation in Competition Enforcement 2021


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International co-operation is a core part of competition-related work at the OECD and the shaping of new co-operation models is key to the benefit of enforcers and business.


In 2012, as part of the International Co-operation Project, the OECD worked closely with the International Competition Network (ICN) on a survey to better understand experiences of competition agencies in case-related enforcement activities.  In July 2012, the survey was addressed to 120 competition agencies around the world and received 57 responses which were used in this analysis.


This publication sums up the results of this survey and analyses respondents’ experiences focusing on the following areas:

  • objectives of enforcement activities
  • legal context
  • obstacles and difficulties to co-operate in an efficient manner
  • advantages, disadvantages and challenges to international co-operation
  • suggestions for future work by the OECD and the ICN concerning co-operation in enforcement of competition law

Some key findings of the survey

  • Two-thirds of respondents consider to belong to a regional network: either a platform-type (that provide competition-specific rules for enforcement), or a forum-type (general policy discussions on common regional issues and exchanges of experiences). Respondents showed also that actual experiences with case co-operation seem to differ significantly across regional networks.

  • Experience with international co-operation has grown significantly in the last five years especially due to a raise in number of multi-jurisdictional cases. Estimates show approximate increases of +15% in cartel cases, +35% in merger review cases and +30% in unilateral conduct cases.‌
  • Legal limitations, due to differences in legal systems and to restrictions in domestic legislation, appear to be one of the more important limitations on international co-operation. Addressing these limitations could be beneficial to international co-operation, despite the costs associated.

  • Responses to the Survey confirm that the OECD played an important role in shaping the current framework for international enforcement co-operation. They also confirmed that the role of the OECD recommendation on international co-operation was significantly more effective than that of the 2005 Best Practices on the exchange of information in cartel investigations and suggested that the notification procedure in the recommendation be modernised.

  • Respondants also pointed out that OECD instruments could be amended or updated to reflect the current status and needs of international co-operation. There was strong support for projects such as developing bilateral or multilateral models for co-operation agreement and exchange of information as well as a model confidentiality waiver (see below).


 See also

2014 Council Recommendation on International Co-operation in Competition Investigations and Proceedings

Challenges of International Co-operation and Competition Law Enforcement, 2014

Global Forum on Competition 2013, Session on International Co-operation (presentations and other documents)

International Co-operation and Competition main page

Recommendations and Best Practices on Competition Law and Policy

OECD Competition main page

Full list of Best Practice Roundtables on Competition Policy 


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