The new trade politics and EU competition policy: shopping for convergence and co-operation

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Series Details Vol.13, No.6, September 2006, p867-886
Publication Date September 2006
ISSN 1350-1763
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Article is part of a special issue, ‘The European Union and the new trade politics’.


As firms increasingly trade and invest internationally, the decisions of competition regulators can increasingly interact with the political decisions that govern trade policy. Competition regulators prefer promoting international convergence and co-operation as a means to avoid trade-related and other political interventions in their regulatory decisions. This article employs a venue shopping model of policy change to identify those international organizations through which the European Union's Directorate General Competition is most likely to seek co-operation and convergence in international competition policy. The Directorate General Competition shops among four different international organizations – the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization and the International Competition Network. Five different legal features frame and determine Directorate General Competition's preference for selecting among these different venues, which, in turn, helps to explain the current and future dynamics of competition policy in the new trade politics.

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