International Harmonization on Competition Rules

The coming era of increasingly interdependent national economies and powerful multinational enterprises posed a great challenge fromthe viewpoint of competition regulation. The need to foster competition in a globalized economy characterized by international transactions and relationships, accomplished at great speed, required new approaches by national regulators and even consideration of international rules. The focus has shifted from efforts to legitimize competition laws as a necessary element of universal economic policy to the pursuit of internationally acceptable and effective means for assuring and regulating business competition on a global scale. This dissertation reviews unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral approaches to international competition policy, and concludes that there is a need for a multilateral arrangement on competition while unilateralism and/or cooperation between competition authorities of countries is insufficient to address the problem. This dissertation explores and provides some suggestions on the available way to achieve a global common rule of competition and the structure and contention of such a global competition law, especially its elements and focus. For all concerned, this dissertation will serve as a framework for contention and negotiation in that important and fascinate field.

This dissertation is divided into five chapters.
Chapter One discusses the economic definition of competition, and gives a brief overview of how the jurisprudence of competition law develops. Analysis on legal and economic principles that govern modern antitrust practice provides the bases for discussion. This chapter then draws some differences between competition law and two related conceptions:  trade; antidumping. These three fields share several common themes, but also diverge at several critical points.

Chapter Two explores the two reasons of the emergence of the need to harmonize and unify competition rules: extraterritorial reach of national competition laws and substantive differences on the standards and norms. Extraterritorial enforcement of national competition laws causes the direct conflicts between jurisdictions, while different standards and norms lead to divergent conclusions in same or similar cases. Conflicting requirements and repeated procedure add unnecessary costs to international transactions, which calls for harmonization and unification.

After a thorough review of unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral approaches to resolving cross-border competition law and policy disputes, Chapter Three emphasizes the importance and necessity of multilateralism. This dissertation believes multilateral harmonization and unification be the best way to diminish the regulation barriers and facilitate international business.

Chapter Four expounds on the key issues of constructing an international competition law system. Attempts to define international antitrust’score principles and distill its critical insights proceed with unequalled urgency today. This dissertation makes some efforts to discuss the framework for multilateral negotiations and hopes to provide some concrete legislative suggestions on the most urgent problems, such as sanctions against international hard-core cartels, control of mergers and acquisitions, establishment of a uniform enforcement institution and designs of legal liabilities and remedies.

As the last part of this dissertation, Chapter Five turns to examine current confusions confronted with by most developing-countries on the problem of how to choose between competition law and economic development policy. This chapter reminds that competition law is no Panacea, but it does prove useful for economic development. This chapter also details and evaluates recent work in China’s competition legislation.