WASHINGTON – Department of Justice Antitrust Division officials will participate in the 10th annual International Competition Network (ICN) conference in The Hague, The Netherlands, from May 18-20, 2011. At the conference, senior government antitrust officials, private sector antitrust experts and representatives of intergovernmental organizations will meet to discuss competition issues and recent accomplishments of ICN working groups on areas of antitrust enforcement policy, including unilateral conduct, mergers, cartels, advocacy and agency effectiveness.
Conference panels will discuss promoting the use of competition principles in government actions, anti-cartel enforcement awareness and outreach, effective operation of competition agencies, trends in merger enforcement, analysis of loyalty discounts and rebates, and competition enforcement and consumer welfare. Member agencies also will finalize work programs for the upcoming year and engage in long-term planning.
In October 2001, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) joined with antitrust agencies from 13 other jurisdictions around the world (Australia, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Zambia) to create the ICN. The ICN now includes 117 member agencies from 103 jurisdictions. The goal of the ICN is to provide a forum for antitrust agencies to address competition enforcement and policy issues of common interest.
The following portions of this year’s conference will be open to the press:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 18 (Day 1)
9:00 a.m. (The Hague), 3:00 a.m. (EDT) – Opening Remarks
The conference opening will include remarks by Henk Don, Acting Chairman of the Board, Netherlands Competition Authority, and Joaquín Almunia, Vice President of the European Commission and European Commissioner of Competition.
10:15 a.m. (The Hague), 4:15 a.m. (EDT) – ICN Curriculum Project
FTC Commissioner William Kovacic will present the ICN Curriculum Project, including its first video training materials that will become part of the ICN’s “virtual university” on competition law and practice for competition agency officials.
11:00 a.m. (The Hague), 5:00 a.m. (EDT) – Advocacy Session
John Fingleton, Chief Executive, UK Office of Fair Trading, will join a panel to discuss the use of competition principles in government actions.
2:30 p.m. (The Hague), 8:30 a.m. (EDT) – Cartel Session
Belinda Barnett, Criminal Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, will join a discussion on public awareness and outreach in the context of cartel enforcement, moderated by Alexander Italianer, Director General, Directorate for Competition in the European Commission.
THURSDAY, MAY 19 (Day 2)
10:45 a.m. (The Hague), 4:45 a.m. (EDT) – Agency Effectiveness Session
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz will present remarks and participate in a panel discussion on effectively managing competition agencies.
2:30 p.m. (The Hague), 8:30 a.m. (EDT) – Special Project Session
Jarig van Sinderen, Chief Economist, Netherlands Competition Authority, will focus on a special project undertaken by the Netherlands Competition Authority on competition enforcement and consumer welfare.
3:15 p.m. (The Hague), 9:15 a.m. (EDT) – Merger Session
Rachel Brandenburger, Special Advisor, International to Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, will moderate a panel on current trends and developments in merger enforcement.
FRIDAY, MAY 20 (Day 3)
10:35 a.m. (The Hague), 4:35 a.m. (EDT) – Unilateral Conduct Session
Randolph W. Tritell, Director of the FTC’s Office of International Affairs, will present opening remarks preceding a panel debate on “Arguing the Case: Scrutinizing a Loyalty Discount and Rebate Case from All Sides.”
11:20 a.m. (The Hague), 5:20 a.m. (EDT) – Closing
The conference will be held at the World Forum in The Hague, The Netherlands. More information about the conference can be found at www.icn-thehague.org/page.php. ICN documents are available at www.internationalcompetitionnetwork.org.