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Competition law is now actively enforced in more than 100 jurisdictions throughout the world, and although the objectives of competition are commonly shared, procedures and policies can be vastly different.
The globalisation of trade inexorably increases the risk of enforcement in jurisdictions throughout the world. Information sharing agreements that apply to competition authorities and enforcement agencies around the world are numerous and varied. For example confidential information (including leniency applications) can be shared between the National Competition Authorities of the European Union, the United Kingdom has agreements with the United States and Canada which permit the exchange of extensive information, and various other bilateral and tri-lateral agreements exist.
Increasingly, information given to one competition authority could end up in the hands of another, creating yet another minefield for defendants faced with cartel enforcement in numerous jurisdictions.
The work outlines the substantive competition law provisions, any proposed legislative changes and examines the procedural and practical aspects of cartel enforcement in numerous jurisdictions around the world.
It also reviews the relationship between administrative and criminal sanctions, and the practical risk of prosecution by enforcement authorities.
Cartel Enforcement Worldwide deals with a multitude of considerations that need to be addressed in the context of a cartel investigation, from the powers of the various regulators, to the rights of defence and the appeals process. As multijurisdictional enforcement becomes increasingly common, simultaneous leniency applications to several authorities are the norm, bringing with it the necessity of coordinating responses so that steps taken in one jurisdiction do not prejudice what is happening elsewhere. Each chapter therefore includes information about the leniency programmes adopted by the relevant regulators.
Also included is guidance on private enforcement actions in the civil courts. Public enforcement is increasingly being used as a launch pad for private enforcement litigation in which companies and individuals that have suffered loss as a result of anti-competitive practices bring claims for damages against cartelists. Potential litigants are increasingly aware of the opportunities afforded by private competition enforcement, and of the benefits of simply relying on an infringement decision by a competition authority.