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Antitrust Guidelines for International Enforcement and Cooperation (2017)

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Following receipt and consideration of comments received from the public, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission issued updated Antitrust Guidelines for International Enforcement and Cooperation. The guidelines update the 1995 Antitrust Enforcement Guidelines for International Operations and provide guidance to businesses engaged in international activities on questions that concern the Agencies’ international enforcement policy as well as the Agencies’ related investigative tools and cooperation with foreign authorities. The guidelines reflect the growing importance of antitrust enforcement in a globalized economy and the Agencies’ commitment to cooperating with foreign authorities on both policy and investigative matters.

The revisions restructure the previous guidelines in order to make the guidelines more useful and accessible by focusing on the questions of greatest significance to users. The revisions also describe the current practices and methods of analysis the Agencies employ when determining whether to initiate and how to conduct investigations of, or enforcement actions against, conduct with an international dimension.

In particular, the revisions:

  • Add a chapter on international cooperation, which addresses the Agencies’ investigative tools, confidentiality safeguards, the legal basis for cooperation, types of information exchanged and waivers of confidentiality, remedies and special considerations in criminal investigations;

  • Update the discussion of the application of U.S. antitrust law to conduct involving foreign commerce, the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, foreign sovereign immunity, foreign sovereign compulsion, the act of state doctrine and petitioning of sovereigns, in light of developments in both the law and the Agencies’ practice; and

  • Provide revised illustrative examples focused on the types of issues most commonly encountered.

Public Comments

Number Name
AGIEC-00001 Thomas, Kenneth
AGIEC-00002 Pappalardo, Dario
AGIEC-00003 Maverick Ministries
AGIEC-00004 International Bar Association
AGIEC-00005 The American Antitrust Institute
AGIEC-00006 The Section of Antitrust Law and the Section of International Law of the American Bar Association
AGIEC-00007 United States Chamber of Commerce
AGIEC-00008 Rill, James
Updated June 20, 2023