USCIB Meets With DOJ on Global Competition Issues

L-R: Mike Murray, Deputy Assistant Attorney General; James Fredricks, Section Chief, Criminal Section II, U.S. Department of Justice; Dina Kallay, Ericsson and USCIB Competition Committee Chair; Eva Hampl, USCIB Senior Director, Investment, Trade and Financial Services; and Jennifer Patterson, Arnold & Porter and USCIB Competition Committee Vice-Chair.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Appellate Mike Murray met with USCIB’s Competition Committee, chaired by Dina Kallay (Ericsson), during its fall meeting on September 25 at the offices of White & Case LLP.  Following an introduction and welcome by Vice Chair Jennifer Patterson (Arnold & Porter LLP), USCIB members participated in an active agenda that included updates on important developments on global competition issues.

Murray discussed the issue of indirect purchasers DOJ Antitrust Division brief and position in Apple v. Pepper. His complete remarks can be found here. DOJ Section Chief Jim Fredericks, Criminal Section II then presented and answered member questions regarding the DOJ Antitrust Division new policy to incentivize compliance programs.

Members also received an update from Bryan Gant from White & Case on the status of the amicus brief USCIB filed in the 1-800 Contacts case, which urges reversal of the FTC ruling on antitrust liability for trademark settlements. Finally, John Taladay (Baker Botts), Chair of the Business at OECD Competition Committee, provided an overview of the upcoming OECD Competition Week taking place December 2-6 in Paris. The latter part of that week will be the Global Forum on Competition, covering issues such as competition provisions in regional trade agreements and merger control in dynamic markets.

USCIB Urges Reversal of 1-800 Contacts FTC Ruling

USCIB filed an amicus brief with regards to 1-800 Contacts, Inc. case to highlight the challenges American businesses would face under the recent Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) decision’s approach to antitrust liability for trademark settlements, and explain the potential negative impacts the decision would have on businesses, consumers and competition if left to stand.

USCIB General Counsel Nancy Thevenin led the process for USCIB. “The Commission’s decision creates substantial uncertainty regarding the enforcement and settlement of intellectual property rights, increases the risk of arbitrary enforcement against even routine settlements, and potentially exposes settlements to such risk for decades,” warned Thevenin. “The decision should be reversed.”

Earlier this year, the FTC decided to impose antitrust liability against 1-800 Contacts, the largest online retailer of contact lenses in the U.S., on the basis that 1-800 Contacts’ settlements of trademark infringing lawsuits against at least fourteen competing online contact lens retailers restricted trade. Among other things, USCIB’s amicus argues that the Commission’s decision ignores the critical importance to business of intellectual property rights and its enforcement and would unfairly require the lawful exercise of such rights to a higher pro-competition standard.

USCIB thanks Eileen M. Cole, Bryant D. Gant and Seiji Niwa of member firm White & Case for their work with the amicus.

 

OECD Competition Week

OECD Competition Week will take place June 3-6, 2019 in Paris.

The week will include meetings of the OECD Competition Committee (CC) and its Working Parties (WP2, WP3).

Below please find detailed information from Business at OECD on the various meetings taking place that week, as well as papers Business at OECD plans on contributing to the meetings.

The topics of the papers include:

  • Standard of Review by Courts in Competition Cases
  • FinTech and Disruptive Innovation in Financial Markets
  • Licensing of IP Rights and Competition Law
  • Vertical Mergers in Technology, Media & Telecom Sectors
  • Publicly Funded Education markets
  • Analyzing Competition Issues in Labor Relations

If you are interested in participating or need more information, contact Chris Olsen (colsen@uscib.org).

18th Annual Conference of the International Competition Network (ICN) 

18th Annual Conference of the International Competition Network (ICN)

May 15-17, 2019

Cartagena, Colombia

The Colombian Superintendence of Industry and Commerce will host the 2019 International Competition Network (ICN) Annual Conference. The venue for the conference will be Hotel Las Americas, Cartagena. The 2019 Annual Conference will be the 18th annual conference hosted under ICN auspices. During the conference, discussions will focus on strategies related to digital economy, innovation, market definitions and the role of the competition policy since the different perspectives of the ICN.

The ICN Annual Conference is an invitation only event. The admission will be reserved for ICN Competition Authorities members and NGAs. The Colombian Superintendence of Industry and Commerce looks forward to welcoming ICN member agencies and NGAs from across the globe to Cartagena in May 2019.

Please contact Chris Olsen (colsen@uscib.org) for more information.

ICC & the International Bar Association Pre-ICN Forum

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)  & the International Bar Association (IBA) Pre-ICN Forum at the Hotel Las Americas will be held on May 14 in Cartagena, Colombia. This event offers attendees an opportunity to participate in discussions on competition law enforcement and policy and get insights directly from regulators and business experts.

Confirmed speakers include:
Andreas Mundt, ICN Chair
Andrés Barreto Gonzalez, Superintendent of Industry and Commerce of Colombia
Frederic Jenny, Chair, OECD Competition Commission
Alejandra Palacios Prieto, Chair, COFECE
Ricardo Riesco, Head, Fiscalia Nacional Economica
Alvaro Ramos, Senior Legal Director and Head of Global Antitrust, Qualcomm

The sessions include:
• Plenary: In search of a road map. Distinguishing key trends in Latin American antitrust developments
• Plenary: On the road to compliance – are we there yet? Achieving cultural change in antitrust compliance
• Plenary: Driving on the left or the right? Do we need a common approach to Procedural Rights?
• Plenary: We know “consumer harm” when we see it – or don’t we? Substantive assessment of High Tech and National Champions.

Please contact Chris Olsen (colsen@uscib.org) for more information.

USCIB Competition Committee Meeting

USCIB Competition Committee Meeting
Tuesday, April 16, 2018
9:00 – 11:30am
Milbank
1850 K Street, NW, Suite 1100, Washington DC

Speakers will include:

  • Mr. Thomas Kramler, Head of the Digital Single Market Task Force, DG COMP
  • Mr. Roger Alford, DAAG for International Affairs, DOJ
  • Ms. Yumiko Takahashi, Washington D.C. attaché of the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC)

If you would like to attend the meeting, and have not already done so, please RSVP to Chris Olsen (colsen@uscib.org).

Global Business Endorses the ICN Framework for Competition Agency Procedures

Washington, D.C., April 10, 2019 – The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Association of in-house competition lawyers (ICLA), and the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB) welcome the announced approval of the International Competition Network (ICN) Framework for Competition Agency Procedures (CAP), as an encouraging step towards a more sound and fair competition enforcement across the globe.

The CAP highlights and reinforces important due process principles in competition law investigations such as transparency and predictability, confidentiality, conflict of interest, representation by counsel, appropriate notice, privilege, independent review and reasonable time period for investigations. Competition agencies, businesses and consumers around the globe, all stand to gain from reinforcement of these core principles.

The CAP’s endorsement of non-discrimination in antitrust enforcement is key in today’s global marketplace and addresses a pertinent issue at the interface of competition law and trade law.

Our members hope that most, if not all, competition agencies opt into the CAP in the near future. We believe implementation of the CAP principles is key in any sound competition enforcement regime.

“The broad spread of antitrust regimes globally has highlighted the need for due process standards that support sound and predictable competition enforcement,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “We hope the CAP will bring the world’s competition agencies together in supporting a robust unified definition of basic fairness principles in competition investigations.”

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million people worldwide. As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and Business at OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043, jhuneke@uscib.org

Global Competition Policy in the Spotlight at Joint ICC/USCIB Meeting

L-R: The FTC’s Bruce Hoffman (center) with (L-R) Jennifer Patterson (Arnold & Porter), Dina Kallay (Ericsson), Eva Hampl (USCIB) and Patrick Hubert (Orrick Rambaud Martel)

On September 5, against the backdrop of fast-changing business and policy practices with respect to antitrust and consumer protection, the USCIB Competition Committee held a joint meeting with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Competition Commission at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP’s offices in New York. The meeting took place in conjunction with the 45th Annual Fordham Conference on International Antitrust Law (September 6-7). Participants in the joint ICC/USCIB meeting represented many jurisdictions, including Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The keynote speaker was Bruce Hoffman, director of the Bureau of Competition at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Hoffman discussed the latest developments of antitrust policy with USCIB members, including for competition policy litigation and enforcement in the U.S., as well as upcoming FTC hearings, beginning next week in Washington, D.C., on the state of competition law and policy.

USCIB Competition Committee Chair Dina Kallay (Ericsson) referred to the FTC’s effort – which will look at the 21st-century landscape for competition, market concentration, consumer data,  vertical mergers and other topics – as “the mother of all hearings.” Kallay and USCIB Competition Committee Vice Chair Jennifer Patterson (Arnold & Porter) led participants through an agenda that included updates on issues including mergers, due process, cartels, the International Competition Network (ICN), and the Multilateral Framework on Procedures, on which USCIB and ICC recently submitted a joint statement.

ICC/USCIB Competition Meeting

The next ICC/USCIB Competition meeting will take place on September 5, 2018 in NYC, from 9-11:30am. The meeting will be hosted by Arnold & Porter at 250 W 55th Street, New York, NY.

The meeting will be in conjunction with the 45th Annual Fordham Conference on International Antitrust Law (September 6-7).

Global Business Welcomes New Multilateral Framework on Procedures in Competition Enforcement

Paris and Washington, D.C. June 27, 2018 – The global business community has applauded the launch of a new Multilateral Framework on Procedures in Competition Law Investigation and Enforcement (MFP), as announced recently by the U.S. Department of Justice. In a joint statement, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and its American national committee, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), welcomed the announcement, saying they hoped the initiative would lead to fairer and more efficient antitrust procedures.

“As the world’s largest and most representative business organization, ICC welcomes the U.S. Department of Justice’s new Multilateral Framework on Procedures in Competition Law Investigation and Enforcement,” said ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton. “Business relies on and thrives in a global economy based on multilateral rules and shared principles. We encourage competition authorities to further engage with the private sector to ensure that investigations are conducted in a consistent and transparent manner worldwide.”

“The spread of antitrust regimes globally over the past 20 years has underscored the importance of due process as a cornerstone of sound competition enforcement,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “Multilateral forums such as the OECD and the International Competition Network have done, and continue to do, tremendous work towards normative convergence in this area. USCIB applauds this complementary MFP initiative, which goes beyond soft-convergence to employ a practical mechanism that will promote compliance by competition authorities with a dozen fundamental procedural fairness principles.”

On June 1, U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Makan Delrahim, announced the MFP as a tool to “promote greater procedural norms and due process in antitrust, or competition, enforcement.” Delrahim said the United States, “in partnership with leading antitrust agencies around the world, will introduce and invite the global antitrust enforcement community to help finalize and join” the framework.

“USCIB members support this fresh initiative and its open multilateral nature,” Robinson said.  “Procedural fairness improves outcomes for agencies and stakeholders alike. The MFP is therefore great news for global antitrust enforcement and our members stand ready to assist it in whatever way they can.”

About ICC:
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the world’s largest business organisation with a network of over 6 million members in more than 100 countries. We work to promote international trade, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation through a unique mix of advocacy and standard setting activities—together with market-leading dispute resolution services. Our members include many of the world’s largest companies, SMEs, business associations and local chambers of commerce.

More at www.iccwbo.org

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world, generating $5 trillion in annual revenues and employing over 11 million people worldwide. As the U.S. affiliate of several leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Contacts:
Stephen Lloyd, ICC
stephen.lloyd@iccwbo.org, +33 1 49 53 28 49

Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
jhuneke@uscib.org, +1 212.703.5043