Chapter News

Competition: EU-US launch Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue to foster cooperation in competition policy and enforcement in technology sector

Today, European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, US Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan and the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust of the US Department of Justice Jonathan Kanter have launched the EU-US Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue in Washington DC.

The European Commission, the US Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Justice have issued a joint statement.

Margrethe Vestager, European Commission Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy, said: “The European Commission and the US competition authorities have a longstanding tradition of cooperation in competition policy and enforcement. Today, with the launch of the EU-US Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue, we reinforce this cooperation with a particular attention to the fast evolving technology sector.

In June 2021, in parallel to the launch of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), the EU and the US have set up a Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue (TCPD) that will focus on developing common approaches and strengthening the cooperation on competition policy and enforcement in the technology sector.

In the joint statement published today, the European Commission, the US Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Justice have underlined the shared democratic values and a common belief in the importance of well-functioning and competitive markets, cornerstones for the continued strengthening of the EU-US economic and trade relationship. They have underlined the intention to collaborate to ensure and promote fair competition, on the basis of the common belief that vigorous and effective competition enforcement benefits consumers, businesses, and workers on both sides of the Atlantic.

The European Commission and the US authorities face common challenges in competition enforcement in digital investigations, such as network effects, the role of massive amounts of data, interoperability, and other characteristics typically found in new technology and digital markets. The TCPD aims at sharing insights and experience with an aim towards coordinating as much as possible on policy and enforcement.

Following today’s launch, the TCPD will continue with high-level meetings, as well as regular discussions at technical level.

Background

On 15 June 2021, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President Joe Biden of the United States launched the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC). The TTC serves as a forum for the United States and European Union to coordinate approaches to key global trade, economic, and technology issues and to deepen transatlantic trade and economic relations based on shared democratic values.

The European Commission, the US Federal Trade Commission, and the Antitrust Division of the US 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.

Compliments of the European Commission.