AAI Working Paper No. 11-09: Dismantling the Obstacles to TransAtlantic Cooperation in Cartel Enforcement

2011 marks the 20th Anniversary of the US/EU Cooperation Agreement and the antitrust community has been celebrating this milestone by basking in the successes of the international cooperative endeavor. Unfortunately the US/EU Cooperation Agreement does not go far enough towards true cooperation to make international antitrust enforcement a reality because the US Department of Justice and the European Commission cannot share the fruits of their investigative efforts. This is particularly surprising in the field of cartel enforcement, where there is much existing consensus on the treatment of such conduct and increasing harmonization in the procedural aspects. This paper confronts the common justifications for limiting the ability of competition authorities to share confidential information and proposes alternative mechanisms to maximize the efficacy of international enforcement.