Discrepancies between various stances towards competition policy have a tendency to lead towards trade conflicts. Private restraints resulting from anticompetitive arrangements are perceived as becoming more prominent.
In the age of globalisation it is possible to distinguish six basic approaches towards potential solutions regarding conflicts in competition law: firstly, an agreement on a binding universal antitrust code; second, a combination of minimum standards and a mechanism called international procedural initiative; third, a harmonisation of national antitrust laws; fourth, a "plurilateral agreement on competition and trade" as put forward by the EU; fifth, a strengthening of effective networks of peers (notably enforcement agencies); and sixth, a "plurilateral framework" combined with binding "positive comity" and dispute solution instruments.
After consideration of pertinent transborder antitrust cases, such as Boeing/McDonnell Douglas and WorldCom/MCI, the article deals with different competition cultures and notably reviews the workability of minimum standards, non-discrimination rules, surveillance and enforcement, "positive comity", dispute settlement, "single order" or networks of peers.
A basic distinction is being made between harmonisation, co-operation and "positive comity". The part on "positive comity" particularly deals with the OECD-Recommendations, the 1991/1998 EU-US Agreement, the EU's suggested WTO Competition Rules and the proposals put forward by the International Competition Policy Advisory Committee (ICPAC). A particular effort is made to assess the benefits and limitations of "positive comity".World Competition