WASHINGTON – Christine A. Varney, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department’s Antitrust Division, will participate in the eighth annual International Competition Network (ICN) conference in Zurich, Switzerland, from June 3-5, 2009. At the conference, senior government antitrust officials, private-sector antitrust experts from around the world, and representatives from intergovernmental organizations will meet to discuss competition issues.
The ICN conference will focus on the recent accomplishments of its five substantive working groups which address: unilateral conduct, mergers, cartels, advocacy and competition policy implementation. Conference panels will include discussions on proposed Recommended Practices for Substantive Merger Analysis and the analysis of tying and discounting arrangements, and will promote the general exchange of views regarding competition law and policy among the participants. Members also will finalize work programs for the coming year.
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 107member agencies from 96 jurisdictions. The goal of the ICN is to provide a forum for antitrust agencies to address antitrust enforcement and policy issues of common interest and formulate proposals for procedural and substantive convergence through a results-oriented agenda and structure.
The following portions of this year’s conference will be open to the press:
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 2009: 8th ANNUAL ICN CONFERENCE (DAY 1)
8:30 A.M. (Zurich), 2:30 A.M. (EDT) – Welcoming Remarks by Swiss and ICN Officials
9:30 A.M. (Zurich), 3:30 A.M. (EDT) – Advocacy Session
John Fingleton, CEO of the U.K.’s Office of Fair Trading will moderate the plenary session on market studies and competition advocacy. Panelists will include Melanie L. Aitkin, Interim Commissioner of Competition, Canadian Competition Bureau and HackHyun Kim, Director of the Korea Fair Trading Commission. Delegates will discuss these topics in breakout sessions.
1:30 P.M. (Zurich), 7:30 A.M. (EDT) – Merger Session
Christine A. Varney, Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, will moderate a panel on "Merger Analysis in Troubled Times." J. Robert Kramer II, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s Director of Operations and Civil Enforcement, will present Recommended Practices for Merger Analysis on competitive effects. Delegates will discuss these topics in breakout sessions.
4:15 P.M. (Zurich), 10:15 A.M. (EDT) – Special Project (Competition Law in Small Economies)
This session will be moderated by Walter A. Stoffel, Chairman of the Swiss Competition Commission.
THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 2009: 8th ANNUAL ICN CONFERENCE (DAY 2)
9:00 A.M. (Zurich), 3:00 A.M. (EDT) – Cartel Session
A plenary session, moderated by Scott D. Hammond, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Enforcement of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, will examine "Transitioning From an Administrative to a Criminal Regime." Panelists will include Graeme Samuel, Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Ana Paul Martinez, Head of the Competition Division of Brazil’s Secretariat of Economic Law of the Ministry of Justice. Delegates will discuss criminalization of cartel conduct and investigative strategy in breakout sessions.
11:45 A.M. (Zurich), 5:45 A.M. (EDT) – Unilateral Conduct Session
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz will provide introductory remarks, to the plenary session focusing on "Distinguishing Pro From Anticompetitive Conduct: The Fine Line Between Aggressive Competition and Anticompetitive Foreclosure in Tying and Discounting Cases." The panel discussion will be moderated by Markus Lange, Head of the International Section of Germany’s Bundeskartellamt, with participants including Damien Neven, Chief Economist of the European Commission’s DG Comp, and chief economists from the competition authorities of Israel and South Africa. Delegates will discuss these topics in breakout sessions.
4:15 P.M. (Zurich), 10:15 A.M. (EDT) – Competition Policy Implementation Session
Maria Coppola Tineo, Counsel for International Antitrust at the FTC’s Office of International Affairs, is a panelist for a discussion of agency effectiveness. Russell Damtoft, Associate Director of the FTC’s Office of International Affairs, will present a summary of ICN activities this past year on its experience sharing teleconferences and on-line discussion forum. Delegates will discuss these topics in breakout sessions.
FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2009: 8th ANNUAL ICN CONFERENCE (DAY 3)
9:00 A.M. (Zurich), 3:00 A.M. (EDT) – Interactive ICN – Maximizing Network Effects
This session will focus on the three ICN vice chairs' present and future work, including Vice Chair for Outreach, FTC Commissioner William E. Kovacic. Commissioner Kovacic will join other ICN members in discussing how the ICN can address better the needs of its members.
1:15 P.M. (Zurich), 7:15 A.M. (EDT) – Closing
Complete information about the conference is available at http://www.icn-zurich.org/The 2009 ICN conference will be held at the Kongresshaus Zürich, Gotthardstrasse 5, Postfach 2523 CH-8022 in Zurich, Switzerland.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Department of Justice, Gina Talamona, 202-514-2007
Federal Trade Commission, Mitchell J. Katz, 202-326-2161