Leadership of the Federal Trade Commission, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, and the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission launched the EU-US Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue in Washington, D.C. Following the meeting’s conclusion, the Federal Trade Commission, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, and the European Commission, issued this inaugural joint statement:
1. On December 7, 2021, in Washington, D.C., co-chairs Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager of the European Commission, Chair Lina Khan of the United States Federal Trade Commission, and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division, launched the EU-U.S. Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue (“Joint Dialogue”).
2. We share democratic values and a belief in the importance of well-functioning and competitive markets, cornerstones for the continued strengthening of our economic and trade relationship. Both through the Joint Dialogue and other cooperation efforts, we intend to collaborate to ensure and promote fair competition, as we firmly believe that vigorous and effective competition enforcement benefits consumers, businesses, and workers on both sides of the Atlantic.
3. The European Commission, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice have a longstanding tradition of close cooperation in antitrust enforcement and policy. This cooperation began even before the formal 1991 Agreement between the Commission of the European Communities and the Government of the United States of America Regarding the Application of their Competition Laws, subsequently complemented by the 1998 agreement on the application of positive comity principles in the enforcement of their competition laws. In 2011, the three agencies reaffirmed their strong commitment to this mutually beneficial cooperative relationship by adopting joint Best Practices on Merger Cooperation.
4. Technological developments throughout this period, including the growth of the digital economy, have transformed the economic landscape in both Europe and the United States, necessitating changes to the competition assessments undertaken by the competition authorities. In digital investigations, competition agencies now must more regularly consider network effects, the role of massive amounts of data, interoperability, and other characteristics typically found in new technology and digital markets, requiring that we adapt and respond to these new challenges.
5. In this spirit and based on our shared values, in order to maximize the mutual benefits of cooperation, the European Commission and the United States competition authorities reaffirm their mutual interest in cooperating on competition policy and enforcement overall and especially in technology sectors. This cooperation will include sharing insights and experience with an aim towards coordinating as much as possible on policy and enforcement. Through the Joint Dialogue, the agencies also intend to explore new ways to facilitate coordination and knowledge and information exchanges to ensure that enforcement authorities are sufficiently equipped to address new challenges together. Finally, in addition to enhancing enforcement and policy coordination, these exchanges will help inform similar domestic efforts, potentially contributing to greater alignment on these pressing issues.
6. The Joint Dialogue will include high-level meetings as well as regular staff discussion focused on the shared competition enforcement and policy issues arising in technology markets.
7. The cooperation and exchanges within the Joint Dialogue are of a legally non-binding nature and without prejudice to the regulatory and law enforcement autonomy of the European Union and the United States, their respective domestic legal frameworks, and the EU-U.S. Agreement on the application of their competition laws.
8. The cooperation and exchanges within the Joint Dialogue are intended to occur in parallel with other forms of cooperation and exchanges between the European Union and the United States on various digital policies and legislation, including within the context of the EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council.
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