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On 16 September 2014, the OECD Council adopted a Recommendation that calls for governments to foster their competition laws and practices so as to promote further international co-operation among competition authorities and to reduce the harm arising from anticompetitive practices and from mergers with anticompetitive effects.
The 2014 Recommendation concerning International Co-operation on Competition Investigations and Proceedings replaces the former 1995 OECD Council Recommendation and is a step forward in the fight against anticompetitive practices.
Rationale for the Recommendation
International co-operation between competition authorities has been at the core of the OECD agenda for many years. A first recommendation adopted in 1967 and a series of revisions had led to a 1995 OECD Recommendation on International Co-operation which has greatly contributed to shaping the current framework for international enforcement co-operation.
However, trends in globalisation, technological advances and the increasing number of companies conducting business worldwide have brought international enforcement co-operation back on the policy agenda.
In 2013, a survey carried out by the OECD and the International Competition Network showed that very few jurisdictions co-operated with other jurisdictions in competition law enforcement (especially due to legal and/or practical limitations to co-operation). Given that there are over 120 countries with competition laws and effective authorities enforcing them, multi-jurisdictional cases tend to keep growing and competition authorities increasingly face situations where the effective enforcement of domestic competition laws depends on co-operation with other enforcers.
Effective and efficient co-operation among authorities has become thus key to achieving competition enforcement to the benefit of consumers, businesses and taxpayers in general. OECD Governments consider the 2014 Recommendation as an essential instrument to help OECD and non-OECD countries foster enforcement co-operation with other jurisdictions and deter anticompetitive practices and mergers with possible anticompetitive effects.
Innovative solutions for international co-operation
The 2014 Recommendation contains two sections that offer enforcers new and particularly innovative solutions:
Other sections in the Recommendation address the following issues:
See the full text of the recommendation in English and Français.
Documents and links
VIDEO: Effective antitrust investigation explained in 8 minutes
International Co-operation on Competition Investigations and Proceedings: Progress in implementing the 2014 OECD Recommendation
OECD/ICN Survey on International Competition Enforcement Co-operation, 2013
Challenges in International Co-operation in Competition Law Enforcement (NAEC), 2014
Recommendation concerning Merger Review, 2005
Recommendation concerning Effective Action against Hard Core Cartels, 1998
Best practices on Information Exchange in Hard Core Cartel Invetigations, 2005
Other OECD Recommendations on Competition Law and Policy
More about the work of the OECD on international co-operation and competition
Help us foster international co-operation on competition
The Recommendation applies to OECD member countries but other economies worldwide are welcome to associate themselves to it. The Secretariat is strongly committed to support OECD and non-OECD governments with the implementation of the Recommendation.
A number of non-OECD economies have already formally expressed the intention to adhere to the Recommendation. We invite other non-OECD economies interested in doing so to contact the OECD Secretariat at Antonio.Capobianco@oecd.org.