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The Emergence of Due Process Following the Growth of International Antitrust Enforcement

J. Mark Gidley and Maxwell J. Hyman, 2015 Antitrust in Developing and Emerging Economies - Conference Papers, Concurrences, forthcoming 2016

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Although modern antitrust laws date back as far as 125 years, the last thirty years have witnessed a remarkable spread of competition laws throughout the globe. Many of these antitrust regimes were first enacted in a single decade, the 1990s, and a majority of antitrust newcomers are developing countries. Today, over 125 agencies in over 100 countries enforce competition laws. Developing nations have been attracted to antitrust law’s ability to stimulate and enable economic growth when it is informed by sound economic principles. The phenomenal spread of antitrust law to developing nations has spurred discussion of whether and how poor countries can benefit from it. Proponents tout antitrust law’s ability to foster free and competitive markets, or even to reduce levels of perceived corruption among developing populations. But this article suggests that one of the most significant contributions of competition law’s spread to developing legal systems is less direct: the international proliferation of antitrust law has the potential to strengthen institutions in developing countries and hasten the spread of due process. Viewed from the perspective of institutional economics—a theory associated with the scholarship of Douglass North and Frank Cross—this subtle benefit promises significant rewards for developing nations.

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