Conclusions: the way forward
The purpose of this book has been to examine the internationalisation of antitrust policy and to furnish an account of the law, economics and politics thereof. Each of the previous chapters dealt with a specific set of issues and each chapter was closed with a specific set of conclusions. This chapter presents a summary of the analysis as a whole and offers a glimpse of the future.
The internationalisation of antitrust policy has developed with alacrity. With the various developments witnessed throughout the twentieth century, it has become essential to bring this topic under close scrutiny. In particular, the relentless process of globalisation has increased the number of antitrust cases with international components. This can be observed in light of how transnational cartels and international merger cases have come to form an increasingly significant part of the work of antitrust authorities worldwide. Not infrequently, such cases involve firms and information located in several jurisdictions. This may present hurdles when antitrust authorities seek to enforce their antitrust laws in those cases as well as trigger difficulties when they actually do so. Very often, international antitrust issues can only be effectively addressed through enhanced international cooperation between different antitrust authorities. Such co-operation also provides relief for business firms, which may in some cases face excessive costs, in time and money, caused by concurrent antitrust investigations initiated in different jurisdictions.
Effective co-ordination of enforcement between antitrust authorities cannot, however, be expected to deliver fruitful results unless the antitrust laws of countries are aimed at addressing practices of firms, whether private or hybrid (public/private), which may have an anti-competitive effect, especially one capable of preventing foreign firms from penetrating domestic markets. Nor can the extraterritorial application of domestic antitrust laws be considered appropriate, if at all effective, in dealing with such behaviour. Extraterritoriality can give rise to disputes between countries as