Tim Büthe coordinated his seminar course, "The Law and Politics of Market Competition in a Global Economy" through a field trip to Washington, D.C. on March 28 and 29, with the generous support of the Program on American Grand Strategy. This focused itinerary (click here for event photographs) included visits with federal government officials in the two antitrust enforcement and competition policy agencies (the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission), one of the Commissioners of the FTC; an antitrust attorney in private practice, as well as two officials from the World Bank's competition policy team. The goal was to complement the students' academic study of the law, economics, and politics of antitrust (known as "competition law and policy" outside of the United States) with an opportunity to speak with antitrust practitioners in the U.S. government, in the private sector, and in key international organizations, the World Bank.
"It was a great opportunity to get to know and discuss the views of antirust practitioners from different institutions and organizations,“ remembers Tamara Nauhardt. The meetings gave the students in this research-oriented upper-level seminar a chance to learn more about the daily work of the antitrust practitioners in U.S. competition law enforcement agencies and in one of the leading international organizations in this issue area, as well as about the experiences of an alumn of Duke's Law School and Sanford School of Public Policy working in one of Washington's leading antitrust law firms with U.S. and foreign multinational companies on gaining regulatory approval for international mergers and acquisition in multiple jurisdictions.
The students discussed with the practitioners issues ranging from the practicalities of merger reviews and the risks of regulatory delays in international mergers and acquisitions to the importance of international cooperation among competition agencies, the challenges arising from different normative underpinnings of different countries' competition laws, and the difficultiess of establishing an effective competition agency in developing countries. These issues have become ever prominent in global markets as more than a hundred countries have adopted a competition law regime during the last 25 years. "The field trip was a great learning opportunity to have a better understanding of the subject beyond readings and discussions in the class, writes Moohyung Cho, a participating graduate student. "Meeting antitrust practitioners with real-world experiences, I am deeply impressed by their remarkable achievements and strong commitment to maximize consumer welfare and to promote the value of market competition in both domestic and international spheres."