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Deputy Assistant Attorney General Manish Kumar of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division led the delegation at the International Competition Network’s (ICN) 22nd annual conference, hosted by the Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission in Barcelona, Spain, on Oct. 18-20. The division received an ICN Advocacy Working Group – World Bank Competition Advocacy Contest award for its work in effectuating the Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kumar spoke on the Cartel Working Group plenary on “Transforming Cartel Enforcement in ICN’s Third Decade: Current Trends and the Challenges Ahead,” where he discussed the use of international cooperation to generate cases, the department’s recent resolutions in the generic drugs industry and lessons learned from recent trials.
“Now in its third decade, ICN has cemented itself as a key forum for international collaboration,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kumar. “The United States and competition authorities around the world share the important mission to find antitrust crimes and bring perpetrators to justice, and we benefit when we share perspectives and expertise.”
In awarding the World Bank Competition Advocacy Contest Award to the division, the ICN recognized the division's work in effectuating the Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. The award recognizes the division’s work developing relationships with agencies across the U.S. government through memoranda of understanding, case coordination and cooperation, training and education exchanges, case referrals, technical assistance and formal comments to advocate for competition. This initiative was a remarkable leap forward for a whole-of-government approach to competition enforcement and policy and it has already yielded tangible results, including more effective merger enforcement, investigation and case referrals and competition-focused rulemaking.
Delegates from the ICN’s member jurisdictions included agency leadership and staff, competition experts from international organizations and the legal, business, academic and consumer communities. Nearly 100 jurisdictions participated in the conference, which showcased the achievements of the ICN’s Advocacy, Agency Effectiveness, Cartel, Merger and Unilateral Conduct Working Groups and examined a range of competition enforcement and policy issues.
The division currently co-chairs the Cartel Working Group with Italy and Chile. The Cartel Working Group’s breakout sessions focused on topics such as labor market enforcement, detecting cases beyond leniency and the tools needed for cartel investigations in the digital area.
The Merger Working Group’s plenary focused on digital mergers. Merger Working Group breakout sessions focused on topics such as non-horizontal mergers and investigative techniques in merger control.
The Agency Effectiveness Working Group’s plenary focused on how competition agencies set priorities. Agency Effectiveness Working Group breakout sessions focused on topics such as technologies and techniques for collecting and processing information in antitrust cases and effectively using innovative detection tools.
The Unilateral Conduct Working Group’s plenary focused on challenges in unilateral conduct cases. Unilateral Conduct Working Group breakout sessions focused on topics such as effective remedies in unilateral conduct cases and the interaction between antitrust and regulation in digital markets.
The ICN was created in October 2001 to increase understanding of competition policy and promote convergence toward sound antitrust enforcement around the world. It was founded by 15 agencies, including the division, and now boasts a diverse membership of competition agencies from over 140 jurisdictions, supported by a wide network of non-governmental advisors from around the world.