Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

Archive for May 19th, 2011

Awareness and Public Outreach Programmes

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Public outreach programmes were a key topic on the agenda of the ICN annual conference in the Hague.

Those programmes seek to raise awareness of the general public (including firms) to the scope, content, institutions and penalties of competition rules. They are particularly important in countries with young antitrust regimes. They induce firms to comply spontaneously with the new rules.

But they are also relevant to any agency seeking to improve its detection efficiency. To take one example only, too many individuals still believe that price-fixing is not unlawful. Through education, awareness programmes may prompt stakeholders to report infringements (by lodging complaints and leniency applications, for instance).

Now CAs accross the world have been very inventive in crafting such programmes, often with the active support of the ICN. The leniency movie is now a standard in many competition law jurisdictions. DG COMP has recently posted on its website a funny flash module which illustrates the scope of competition policy. The Norwegian and Brazilian CAs have produced t-shirts with competition-friendly slogans (would love to get one of them. My size S or M).

Without the shadow of a doubt, however, the prize of the best public outreach device must be awarded to the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS).  On its website, the CCS makes available (for free) a MANGA on abuse of dominance (in English). Bravo!

I am just back from the Hague with 6 paperback copies. They will be awarded to my best students this semester.

PS: A great experience. I am truly indebted to the DG COMP for its kind invitation.

Written by Nicolas Petit

19 May 2011 at 10:16 pm