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The reports from around the globe collected in this volume will be of keen interest to practitioners of competition law everywhere. Increasingly we see that effects of public competition enforcement in individual jurisdictions are felt well beyond those jurisdictions as firms become globalised and cross-border trade increases. To be sure, many jurisdictions retain important local particularities in competition law and enforcement priorities. However, as we can see from the reports collected in this volume, increasing international cooperation among competition enforcers, the widespread reach of firms’ conduct and the economic circumstances of certain industries have led to a notable convergence in the cases attracting the attention of enforcers.
With respect to cartel enforcement, the reports from the European Union, Switzerland and the United States all describe efforts in those jurisdictions concerning alleged fixing of the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Last year, in a related case, the European Commission levied its largest-ever aggregate fine.
Various alleged bid-rigging schemes have also attracted the attention of authorities in many jurisdictions, including Brazil, Colombia, Germany, India, Romania, Switzerland and the United States. These investigations range from the provision of subway trains to railway tracks to rubber soles for boots to firearms to road construction.
The reports that follow detail the efforts of public competition enforcers around the globe. Also of keen interest is the keynote piece challenging the European Commission’s philosophy of encouraging private enforcement of competition laws. That chapter will surely provoke much thought on the efficacy and desirability of such enforcement.