Business and regulators gather at global competition forum to prepare for new era in antitrust law enforcement

  • 3 May 2022

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) today hosted a global competition forum on the side-lines of the 21st International Competition Network (ICN) Annual Conference to help global business and antitrust enforcers gain a deeper understanding of the new trends and related challenges in antitrust law enforcement that have emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ICC Pre-ICN Forum, organised in partnership with the International Bar Association, was conceived over a decade ago to facilitate an open dialogue between key actors in antitrust enforcement – using ICC’s flagship antitrust initiatives to draw attention to critical issues with the view to ignite potential new antitrust reforms. With the introduction of ICC Compendium of Antitrust Damages Actions during last year’s Forum, ICC shone a spotlight on the increasingly fragmented nature of national private antitrust enforcement regimes which continues to create vast new pressures on companies.

The heightened risks faced by companies of being sued for damages brought against them has had an important impact on a company’s decision to report a cartel – making leniency applications less attractive. In this worrying context, ICC was proud to release at the Forum the 3rd Edition of the ICC Leniency Manual providing companies with a step-by-step approach to understanding leniency applications worldwide – and, crucially, the confidence to take action in fighting cartels.

Speaking on the European Union’s new Directive – known as ECN+ — which gives competition agencies within the European Union the tools to ensure a more effective enforcement of competition law, Marcin Trepka, Co-Chair of the ICC Task Force on Cartels and Leniency said: “One of the issues addressed by the Directive ECN+ is leniency, namely that existing differences between the leniency programmes in the Member States lead to legal uncertainty for potential leniency applicants. Therefore, the Directive ECN+ provides for more transparent and harmonised rules for leniency within the EU”.  

Mr Trepka added: “As it is still not a perfect solution, it is one big step to make applying for leniency less bothersome and to increase legal certainty of the applicants. Subsequent editions of the ICC Leniency Manual serve the same purpose globally.

The Pre-ICN Forum was officiated by Andreas Mundt in his dual capacity as ICN Chair and President of the Bundeskartellamt. Other keynotes included François Brunet, Chair of the ICC Global Competition Commission, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, Chair, ACCC and Alexander Cordeiro, President, CADE.

The Forum’s programme focused on the digital technology sector, new trends in anti-cartel enforcement and merger control – with a panel entirely dedicated to international antitrust enforcers.

ICC’s latest publication on antitrust compliance developed jointly with Concurrences – Perspectives on Antitrust Compliance – was also launched during the event.

The Third Edition of the ICC Leniency Manual is sponsored by Baker McKenzie, Creel, and Kroll.

The Compendium is sponsored by Hogan Lovells, Osborne Clarke, Raposo, Sá Miranda & Associados (PRA), Serra Lopes, Cortes Martins & Associados (SLCM), and Zhong Lun Law Firm.