Antitrust authorities on the offensive
– the insatiable appetite of mature regimes for ever-increasing fines continues unabated, with the U.S., EU, Brazil, South Korea, Japan and Australia on pace to surpass their 2013 fine levels, and overall global cartel enforcement totals on pace to hit record levels for 2014
–there is also little end in sight for the growing number of authorities looking to punish international cartel conduct, with new regimes like China, Singapore and Russia joining the long list of authorities seeking to prosecute cartel conduct occurring beyond their borders
– filling a void left by U.S. and EU authorities bent largely on the pursuit of international cartels, regional enforcers in the U.S. and Europe have grown more aggressive
While we expect to see global antitrust fines hit a high-water mark yet again in 2014, we also see signs that the piling- on phenomenon at the root of these massive fine figures may be close to reaching its tipping point. Signaling that tensions are on the rise over which sovereign is most appropriately placed to punish cartelists, earlier this year, authorities from Taiwan and South Korea joined Japan in taking issue with legal positions advanced by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission on the proper reach of U.S. antitrust laws.
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