Conflict and Compromise: Internationalization of Competition Law and Chinas Participation
PhD student: Mrs S. Li
Promotors: Prof M.G. Faure, Dr N.J. Philipsen
Duration: 1/9/2015 - 31/8/2019
PhD defence: Maastricht, 6/12/2019
Competition law gained a lot of attention all over the world because of its natural relation to economy and market. With the background that the pace of globalization nowadays is faster than ever before, this research will focus on the internationalization of competition law, including basic concepts, historical development, present situation and future possibilities of international competition law. Especially, from a Chinas perspective, this research will explore the conflicts between jurisdictions caused by extraterritorial application of competition law and the way to avoid such conflicts in the process of convergence of international competition law. This research can be divided into 3 main parts. The first part attempts to highlight important aspects of competition law worldwide, especially the trend of its fast expansion and possible conflicts between countries caused by its features. The second part will focus on the present international dimension of competition law. In the last part, the position China holds in international competition laws and the possible strategy China may choose in the process of its internationalization will be explored. More specifically, there will be 10 chapters in the dissertation. In the first chapter, a general introduction will be given. It introduces the fast expansion of competition law worldwide. In this chapter, the way how global competition rules shapes economies and societies will be observed. The second chapter will focus on the internationalization of competition law and different roles and attitudes of influential nations. Basic theories of internationalization of competition law will be examined first. The benefits and obstacles of internationalization will also be analyzed by means of an economic and legal approach. Historical development of international competition law will then be analyzed, including the attempts to achieve a global competition law and the reasons for its failure. This chapter will also examine different roles of significant global players such as the US and the EU in the convergence process. The feature of competition law and the reason why it is easy to cause conflicts between states will be explored in the third chapter. Different provisions of competition rules of different countries and extraterritorial application make it easy to cause conflicts. In this chapter, the widely applied extraterritorial application of national competition law and conflicts caused by such application will be illustrated. The experience and precedents of the US and the EU will be observed. By analysing important cases, such as GE/Honeywell and Boeing, how the US and the EU apply their competition law unilaterally will be examined, together with how the US and the EU cope with such conflicts. Part 2 of this research will start from chapter 4. In the fourth chapter, bilateral cooperation agreements of competition law from different jurisdictions will be examined, including the enforcement agreements and trade agreements which contain competition rules. The significance of bilateral agreements and the effects thereof will be shown in this chapter. The US-EU agreement and its effects will be reviewed in detail, since they are the most decisive players in world economy and politics. The fifth chapter will focus on regional cooperation and the role of regional organizations in international competition law. Many regional cooperation organizations have been established in recent years, such as APEC. Analyzing on their competition policy will help to figure out what single states can do on competition law area in regional level. However, most competition policy of regional organizations has only a slight impact because of its lack of compulsory enforceability. An exception is EU, which reached great success in its integrated market. The significant difference between EU and other regions makes its experience hard to duplicate, but some valuable experience can be learned. In the sixth chapter, the attempts and achievements of international organization in relation to competition law will be explored, especially the role of WTO. The attempts by the WTO to harmonize competition law and policy at a global level and its failure will be analyzed. Future possibilities of WTO will be explored in detail. The achievement of the OECD, ICN and their soft law will also be examined. In practice, a soft harmonization model of international competition law seems more efficient and acceptable in todays world at least according to the existing literatures . Therefore, it is of great value to explore future possible development of such organizations. The third part will focus on China. Since China is growing to be a very important player in todays world, more and more scholars begin to pay attention to Chinese competition law. There are 3 chapters in this part. In the seventh chapter, the long-time absence and its final adoption of competition law in China will be observed. This chapter will also analyse present rules of extraterritorial application in Chinese competition law. In the eighth chapter, Chinas present role and its attitude at the global level will be examined, including Chinas position to apply its competition law and its action in bilateral, regional and international level. In the ninth chapter, a looking ahead will be illustrated. With all the analyses above, this chapter will focus on what strategy China can take to avoid possible conflicts and how to deal with such conflicts with other states. A conclusion will be drawn in the last chapter of the dissertation.