Convergence and Its Discontents: A Reconsideration of the Merits of Convergence of Global Competition Law
Author: Thomas Cheng
In: Chicago Journal of International Law, 2012, v. 12 n. 2, p. 433-490.
Abstract: This Article examines the recent phenomenon of the convergence of competition law regimes across the globe. The increasing harmonization of competition law, at both the procedural and substantive levels, has been widely discussed and applauded in recent years. This Article casts doubt on the conventional wisdom that convergence necessarily constitutes a positive development in global competition law. After analyzing the causes of the phenomenon, this Article argues that there should be limits to the pursuit of convergence. First, the costs of convergence should not be overlooked. The most important of such costs is the loss of national regulatory prerogative. Second, the multitude of goals that are pursued by different jurisdictions in their competition laws poses serious obstacles to convergence. Finally, the need to incorporate economic development considerations and cultural variations in market behavior further cautions against wholesale harmonization of competition laws.