| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
WASHINGTON, D.C. Senior antitrust officials from around the world will gather in Seoul, Korea for the third annual International Competition Network Conference (ICN) to be held April 21-22, 2004, to discuss competition issues. Antitrust officials will also attend the Seoul Competition Forum 2004, hosted by the Korean Fair Trade Commission on April 20, 2004.
The ICN conference will focus on the recent work of the three ICN working groups: the Merger Working Group, the Capacity Building and Competition Policy Implementation Working Group, and the Antitrust Enforcement in Regulated Sectors Working Group. ICN member agencies participate in project-oriented working groups that address policy and enforcement issues and formulate proposals for ICN consensus. Working groups seek advice and written contributions from the private sector and intergovernmental organizations. Panel discussions will review the efforts of the three working groups. Topics of discussion will include: four proposed recommended practices on merger notification procedures; improving investigative techniques for merger review; examining the relationships between antitrust agencies and regulators; capacity building in developing and transition economies; and implementation of ICN work product. The conference also will enable the participants to discuss future work efforts.
In October 2001, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission joined with antitrust agencies from 13 other jurisdictions around the world (Australia, Canada, European Union, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, South Africa, United Kingdom and Zambia) to create the ICN. The ICN now includes nearly 90 member agencies from nearly 80 jurisdictions. The ICN has two main goals: 1) to provide support for new antitrust agencies both in enforcing their laws and in building strong competition cultures in their countries, and 2) to promote greater procedural and substantive convergence among antitrust authorities on sound competition principles. The ICN involves consultation with representatives of international organizations, antitrust practitioners, economists, industry and consumer associations, and members of the academic and professional community.
At the first two ICN conferences in September 2002 and June 2003, ICN members adopted eight guiding principles and seven recommended practices for a merger notification and review regime.
The following portions of the conference will be open to the press:
TUESDAY, APRIL 20: SEOUL COMPETITION FORUM 2004
9:30 a.m. (KST), 8:30 p.m., April 19 (ET) Opening Session
10:30 a.m. (KST), 9:30 p.m., April 19 (ET) Improving the Effectiveness of Competition Advocacy
2:00 p.m. (KST), 1:00 a.m. (ET) Introduction of Competition to Natural
4:00 p.m. (KST), 3:00 a.m. (ET) Effective Cartel Regulation
5:40 p.m. (KST), 4:40 a.m. (ET) Closing Ceremony
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21: ICN CONFERENCE (DAY 1)
8:30 a.m. (KST), 7:30 p.m., April 20 (ET) Opening Ceremony
10:00 a.m. (KST), 9:00 p.m., April 20 (ET) Merger Working Group
2:00 p.m. (KST), 1:00 a.m. (ET) Capacity Building Working Group
THURSDAY, APRIL 22: ICN CONFERENCE (DAY 2)
9:00 a.m. (KST), 8:00 p.m., April 21 (ET) Antitrust Enforcement in Regulated
Sectors Working Group
11:20 a.m. (KST), 10:20 p.m., April 21 (ET) Implementation Session
2:00 p.m. (KST), 1:00 a.m. (ET) New Work-Proposed Cartels Working Group
5:30 p.m. (KST), 4:30 a.m. (ET) Closing Ceremony
Complete information about the conference is available at http://www.internationalcompetitionnetwork.org/annualconferences.html
Location of the ICN Conference: Lotte Hotel Seoul.