Two Federal Trade Commission officials, William Kovacic, General Counsel, and Joe Simons, Director of the Bureau of Competition, will participate in the second annual International Competition Network (ICN) Conference at the Fiesta Americana Hotel in Merida, Mexico on June 23-25, 2003. Senior antitrust officials from around the world will gather in Merida to discuss competition issues.
The conference will focus on the recent work of the three ICN working groups: the Merger Review Working Group, the Advocacy Working Group, and the Capacity Building and Competition Policy Implementation Working Group. ICN member agencies voluntarily participate in project- oriented working groups that address policy issues and formulate proposals for ICN consensus. Working groups seek advice and written contributions from the private sector and non-governmental organizations. Panel discussions will review the efforts of the three working groups. Topics of discussion will include: seven proposed recommended practices on merger notification and review; improving investigative techniques; substantive standards of merger review; competition advocacy; and capacity building in developing and transition economies. The conference also will enable the participants to discuss future work efforts.
Created in October 2001, the International Competition Network is a consensus-based network of competition authorities devoted exclusively to competition law and its enforcement. The ICN includes 80 member agencies from over 70 jurisdictions. The ICN has two main goals: 1) to provide support for new antitrust agencies both in enforcing their laws and in building strong competition cultures in their countries, and 2) to promote greater procedural and substantive convergence among antitrust authorities on sound competition principles. The ICN involves consultation with representatives of international organizations, antitrust practitioners, economists, industry and consumer associations, and members of the academic and professional community.
At the first annual ICN conference in September 2002, ICN members adopted eight guiding principles for a merger review regime.
The following portions of the conference will be open to the press:
MONDAY, JUNE 23:
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (CDT) – Mexico’s Competition Day Session
Mexico’s Federal Competition Commission (CFC) will celebrate its 10th Anniversary. Speakers will include William Kovacic, General Counsel of the Federal Trade Commission.
1:00 p.m. (CDT) – ICN Merida Conference Inauguration and Lunch
Speakers: Fernando Sanchez Ugarte, Chairman, Mexican Federal Competition Commission and Konrad von Finckenstein, Commissioner, Canadian Competition Bureau.
3:00 p.m. - 7 p.m. (CDT) – Capacity Building and Competition Policy Implementation Working Group Session Mario Monti, Commissioner for Competition, European Commission will make introductory remarks. A panel discussion will follow.
TUESDAY, JUNE 24:
8:10 a.m. - 1:40 p.m. (CDT) – Merger Review Working Group Session
R. Hewitt Pate, Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division will make introductory remarks. Chaired by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Deborah P. Majoras, panel discussions will address proposed recommended practices for merger notification procedures, the use of reliable evidence and economic tools in merger review, and merger guidelines.
3:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. (CDT) – Competition Advocacy and Antitrust Authorities
Allan Fels, Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will make introductory remarks. Among other topics, panel discussions will examine relations with the media and competition advocacy efforts in several economic sectors.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25
9:00 a.m. - 10 a.m. (CDT) – The Perspective of Non-Governmental Advisors
Giuseppe Tesauro, Chairman, Italian Competition Authority will make introductory remarks. A discussion with non-governmental advisors will follow.
6:00 p.m. (CDT) – Closing Commentaries
Konrad von Finckenstein, Chairman, ICN’s Steering Group; Fernando Sanchez Ugarte, Vice-chairman, ICN’s Steering Group.