Antitrust Without Borders: From Roots to Codes to Networks

Date period
16 November 2015

Implemented jointly by ICTSD and the World Economic Forum, the E15Initiative convenes world-class experts and institutions to generate strategic analysis and recommendations for government, business and civil society geared towards strengthening the global trade and investment system for sustainable development. The E15 Expert Group on Competition Policy is co-convened with Bruegel.

Antitrust law has moved from a national enterprise to an international enterprise. Markets transcend national boundaries, and many problems appear to require supranational or cooperative solutions. The 1990s triggered visions of a multilateral framework under the aegis of the World Trade Organization (WTO). As the new millennium proceeds, multilateral agreement seems more remote, and networking solutions seem more practical and attractive. International antitrust today is less “world antitrust” and more “antitrust without borders.” This essay describes the intellectual journey from hierarchy to networking. Using the subsidiarity principle (what can be done as well or better at a lower level should be done at a lower level), it identifies the problems that can be tackled horizontally, and how and in what forum; it identifies the problems that still need a solution from the top, and suggests how to move forward.