Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina M. Khan, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter, and Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager of the European Commission met today in Brussels for the second meeting of the US-EU Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue (TCPD). The three leaders met to take stock of the progress made on their cooperation efforts to ensure and promote fair competition in the digital economy, since the agencies launched the TCPD on Dec. 7, 2021.
“Dominance in digital markets poses global challenges, which makes global cooperation by antitrust enforcers essential,” said FTC Chair Khan. “Deepening our partnership and exchanging insights with our European colleagues can help ensure that our enforcement practices and policies reflect modern market realities. Ultimately these efforts to promote fair competition in digital markets will benefit consumers, businesses, and workers on both sides of the Atlantic.”
“The European Commission has been an invaluable partner as the Antitrust Division advances its understanding of the market realities and competition challenges presented by digital markets, said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “We look forward to continued close collaboration as we work to effectively enforce the antitrust laws in our jurisdictions.”
Margrethe Vestager, European Commission Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy, said: “With today’s meeting, we have continued the long standing tradition of close cooperation in competition policy and enforcement between the European Commission and the US competition authorities. In the fast evolving technology sector, this cooperation is crucial to achieve a fair and inclusive digital transformation on both sides of the Atlantic.”
The high-level discussion focused on several topics, including the importance of horizon scanning to identify key technologies and issues that may raise competition concerns in the future; the adoption of effective remedies in digital cases; and the forthcoming update to the U.S. Merger Guidelines.
The three agency heads recognized the robust case and policy cooperation between their services both overall and in the digital sector. Throughout the year, several technical meetings took place on various topics in the framework of the TCPD covering both merger and conduct matters. The representatives expressed their appreciation for the constructive exchanges of views on all these activities. The three authorities reiterated the importance of continuing to closely collaborate in the technology sector within the framework of the TCPD.
On December 7, 2021, the FTC, the Justice Department, and the European Commission launched the TCPD to further boost transatlantic cooperation on competition policy and enforcement in the digital sector in light of the common challenges facing the three authorities. Upon its launch, the Commission and US competition agencies issued a statement regarding the TCPD and reaffirming their longstanding tradition of close cooperation on competition matters.
On June 15, 2021, President Biden and the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen launched the US-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC). The TTC serves as a forum for the US and EU 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 FTC, the Justice Department, and the European Commission have a longstanding tradition of close cooperation in antitrust enforcement and policy. This cooperation began even before the formal 1991 agreement between the European Commission and the U.S. 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.