International co-operation is key to increasing competition in a globalised world
Globalisation, the increasing significance of emerging economies, the borderless nature of the growing digital economy, and the proliferation of competition regimes have caused a significant increase in the complexity of cross-border competition law enforcement co-operation.
This results in a greater need to:
For 50 years, the OECD and its Competition Committee have taken a leading role in shaping the framework for international co-operation among competition agencies. Recommendations, best practices and policy roundtables have served not only as models and inspiration for national initiatives but also as the primary drive for promoting co-operation on a global scale.
The OECD and its Competition Committee offer competition officials from developed and emerging economies a unique platform to monitor the state of international co-operation and to develop new solutions to increase its effectiveness. This work benefits from the support of a professional Secretariat and from the Organisation’s whole-of-government approach, taking advantage of expertise in other OECD committees and experience in international co-operation.
OECD work on international co-operation
Since 2012, international co-operation in competition enforcement is one of the main areas of work of the OECD Competition Committee.
Key issues under study include the existing models and tools for international co-operation, the constraints on further co-operation and possible new and different forms of co-operation.
The OECD work on international co-operation contributes to shaping new models for co-operation for the benefits of enforcers, businesses and consumers by:
In 2013, the results of an OECD-ICN survey on international competition enforcement co-operation were published and suggested ideas for future work in the area.
The 2014 report “Challenges of International Co-operation in Competition Law Enforcement” was the first attempt to gather empirical evidence on the need for closer co-operation between competition enforcers. This report provided support to the negotiations of the OECD Recommendation on International Co-operation on Competition Investigations and Proceedings which was approved by the OECD Council on 16 September 2014.
The 2014 Recommendation is currently under review, and to this purpose a follow-up survey of OECD and ICN member countries was carried out in 2019. More information on recent developments in international competition enforcement co-operation will be made available in 2020/2021.
International co-operation agreements
In 2015, the OECD and its Competition Committee built an inventory of international co-operation agreements on competition. These agreements are the formal co-operation tool more commonly used by competition authorities in order to strengthen the scope and degree of their collaboration, deepen their relationships and formally express their commitment to work together.
In 2016, an inventory of international co-operation MoUs (Memoranda of Understanding) between competition agencies was also built. Based on over 140 MoUs, the inventory lists examples of typical and atypical provisions which would be useful for the negotiation of MoUs.
Key materials, Tools & Guidance