The principle that competition between businesses should be fair is a key theme of competition law. It reflects a universally held value, and why over 150 countries around the world have enacted competition laws similar to those we enforce in Guernsey and Jersey.
An effective competition law enforcement body benefits from adherence to common standards and sharing of best practice because the standards the competition authority holds itself to matter when competition law is enforced.
This is a key reason why the Guernsey and Jersey competition authorities recently became members of a global initiative to promote the key principles of procedural fairness and transparency. The procedures ensure all parties are aware of their obligations and rights when a competition investigation takes place.
As noted by the International Competition Network (ICN) Chair, Andreas Mundt (also President of the German Federal Cartel Office), these forms of co-operation illustrate the close collaboration within the international competition community.
Sharing of best practice is not only healthy but given the vital links Guernsey and Jersey have with other national economies, the importance of working to high standards of fair process and transparency are key to having a respected place on the world stage for Guernsey and Jersey.
Other forms of international co-operation also contribute to this priority. Most recently the USA’s Federal Bureau of Investigation highlighted to American Senators the contribution of the Channel island jurisdictions to the fight against financial crime. In July 2017, bilateral agreements between the UK and the Crown Dependences and Overseas Territories related to the sharing of beneficial ownership information went into effect.
“Our colleagues at the UK’s National Crime Agency have continually noted the immense value of such information in their investigations. These frameworks can provide valuable insight into the critical aspects of a successful system for maintaining, accessing, and sharing accurate beneficial ownership information.” - Steven M. d’Antuono, Acting Deputy Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice.
The application of competition law in small economies such as Guernsey and Jersey also needs to deliver outcomes that are trusted and, as far as reasonable, consistent with international norms. As well as members of the ICN, subscribing to its values, as a signatory to internationally accepted principles of fairness and transparency the GCRA and JCRA takes its place alongside 150+ other competition bodies with shared values.
Further details are available in CICRA’s media release which can be found at https://www.cicra.gg/media-releases/cicra-joins-international-framework/ .