International cooperation in competition law enforcement – challenges for developing countries and best practices

UNCTAD Research Paper No. 59

International cooperation between competition authorities has been widely discussed by the international community. At the request of member States gathered in the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy (IGE) meetings, the UNCTAD secretariat has drafted several papers on the obstacles faced by the developing countries with regard to international cooperation for cross border anti-competitive practices which includes mergers and on possible ways forward.

UNCTAD's latest developments regarding international cooperation correspond to the "Guiding Policies and Procedures under Section F of the UN Set on Competition" (GPP), adopted by Member States in the Eighth United Nations Review Conference of the Set on Competition, held under the auspices of UNCTAD in October 2020.

This paper highlights on the importance of international cooperation for competition law enforcement, especially with respect to developing countries. Firstly, this paper describes the theory and practice of international cooperation in competition law enforcement around the world. It draws its analysis from UNCTAD's previous studies on international cooperation in competition law enforcement to address the challenges faced by the developing countries in dealing with cross-border competition cases.

Thereafter, this paper presents international instruments as well as best practices to respond to the abovementioned challenges, including UNCTAD's latest initiative of the GPP. Lastly, this paper outlines UNCTAD's ambitious potential for future projects in the field of international cooperation post-2020.