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U.S. Department of Justice Seal and Letterhead
FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2004
(202) 514-2007
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:


    9:30 a.m. (KST), 8:30 p.m., April 19 (ET) — Opening Session
    Korea's Fair Trade Commission will host the Seoul Competition Forum 2004. Speakers (via video conference) will include Assistant Attorney General R. Hewitt Pate and Chairman Timothy J. Muris, Federal Trade Commission.

    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 Monopolies
    Il Chong Nam, Senior Fellow, Korea Development Institute, will give a keynote address. A general discussion will be led by Fernando Sanchez Ugarte, Chairman, Federal Competition Commission, Mexico

    4:00 p.m. (KST), 3:00 a.m. (ET) — Effective Cartel Regulation
    Philip Lowe, Director General of Competition at the European Commission, will give a keynote address. A general discussion will be chaired by Frederic Jenny, Chairman of the OECD Competition Committee. Speakers will include Makan Delrahim, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division.

    5:40 p.m. (KST), 4:40 a.m. (ET)Closing Ceremony
    Closing speech by Dr. Chul-Kyu Kang, Chairman of the Korean Fair Trade Commission


    8:30 a.m. (KST), 7:30 p.m., April 20 (ET) — Opening Ceremony
    Opening remarks by Dr. Chul-Kyu Kang, Chairman of the Korean Fair Trade Commission and Fernando Sanchez Ugarte, Chair of the ICN Steering Group.

    10:00 a.m. (KST), 9:00 p.m., April 20 (ET) — Merger Working Group
    Makan Delrahim, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, will make introductory remarks. Panel discussions will address proposed recommended practices for merger notification procedures, options for future work on the analytical framework for merger review, planning a merger investigation and a private sector perspective on the tools and techniques used in merger investigations.

    2:00 p.m. (KST), 1:00 a.m. (ET) — Capacity Building Working Group
    David Lewis, Chairperson, Competition Tribunal of South Africa, will make introductory remarks. A general discussion will be chaired by Philip Lowe, Director General of Competition, European Commission. A panel discussion will follow.


    9:00 a.m. (KST), 8:00 p.m., April 21 (ET) — Antitrust Enforcement in Regulated Sectors Working Group
    Alan Fels, Dean, Australian and New Zealand School of Government, will make introductory remarks. The panel discussion will examine the relations between antitrust authorities and regulatory agencies.

    11:20 a.m. (KST), 10:20 p.m., April 21 (ET) — Implementation Session
    Giuseppe Tesauro, Chairman, Italian Antitrust Authority, will chair a discussion on implementation of ICN work product, including examples from members who have implemented the Recommended Practices for merger notification and procedures.

    2:00 p.m. (KST), 1:00 a.m. (ET) — New Work-Proposed Cartels Working Group
    Professor Mario Monti, Commissioner, European Union, will make introductory remarks. A general discussion on the creation of a new working group on anti-cartel enforcement will be chaired by Ulf Böge, Chairman, German Cartel Office.

    5:30 p.m. (KST), 4:30 a.m. (ET) — Closing Ceremony
    Fernando Sanchez Ugarte, Chair, ICN Steering Group
    Dr. Ulf Böge, Chairman of the German Cartel Office, the host agency of 2005 Annual Conference
    Dr. Chul-Kyu Kang, Chairman, Korean Fair Trade Commission

Media contacts:U.S. Department of Justice, Gina Talamona, 202-514-2007
Federal Trade Commission, Nancy Ness Judy, 202-326-2180
Canadian Bureau of Competition, Sally Southey, 819-994-4994
Korean Fair Trade Commission, Joo-yong Lee, 82-119-948-4307

Complete information about the conference is available at

Location of the ICN Conference: Lotte Hotel Seoul.