The Long Arm of U.S. Antitrust: Implications for Swiss Managers

Public Event 2018 of the Summer School in Law, Business and Economic Policy

This public event was held on October 25, 2018 at the Aula of the University of Basel from 18:15 to 19:45, followed by an apéro to which the approximately 250 participants (mainly students) were invited and that allowed for a continuation of the discussion.The idea to organize this event emerged two years ago. Dr. Russel Pittman (Department of Justice) introduced the students of the master seminar in law, business and economic policy and myself— visiting the DoJ in Washington — to U.S. antitrust policy and its implications for firms and individuals that violate the law. Certain forms of cooperation among firms are considered to be a criminal act by the U.S. authorities and can lead to imprisonment. These laws also apply to foreign firms and managers even though they may neither work nor do any direct business in the United States. I thus considered it as a very important task to inform (all) our students at the University of Basel about this and also discuss this policy from an economic (and international) perspective.The presentation by Dr. Russell Pittman and the statements by Dr. Kuno Sommer as well as Prof. John Mayo provided a great platform for the lively discussion in the panel. The audience also took the opportunity to ask a number of crucial questions regarding U.S. policy, firms’ reactions and the challenges for individuals.

Prof. Rolf Weder
University of Basel