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Journal Article

Interfacing the 'Local' with the 'Global': A Developing Country Perspective on 'Global Competition'


Bakhoum,  Mor
MPI for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Max Planck Society;

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Bakhoum, M. (2013). Interfacing the 'Local' with the 'Global': A Developing Country Perspective on 'Global Competition'. Concurrences, (1), 66-76.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-7A0E-2
This contribution was prepared for the “Global Competition Law Conference” held at Chicago-Kent College of Law in October 2011. It retraces the recent developments in competition law in Sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on the situation in West Africa. The legal, political, cultural and institutional dimensions which have influenced the development and effectiveness of competition law in the region are discussed. From an international perspective, the contribution retraces the African countries’ role, if any, in the debate pertaining to a multilateral framework on competition law. The paper shares David Gerber´s view that “Africa has generally played at best a marginal role in global competition law development until very recently, but several factors suggest that that role may increase”. Amongst these factors are the potential derived from regionalizing competition policies in Sub- Saharan Africa and the increased cooperation and technical assistance in competition law enforcement as evidenced by the recently created African Competition Forum (ACF). The proposals put forward in “Global Competition” by David Gerber are also discussed from the perspective of Sub-Saharan African countries. In particular, it is argued in this contribution that the “commitment pathway” proposed there is a beneficial approach for developing countries since it would help them fight cross-border anticompetitive practices through a multilateral agreement. Moreover, the proposal respects the diversity of approaches in competition law and the need of developing countries to conceptualize their own competition law models. The phasing out of the norms on the multilateral level would give also developing countries time to learn and to contextualize their competition policies. The pertinence of a multilateral approach is also discussed in light of the recent developments, in particular the shift toward bilateral approaches in dealing with competition matters.