Monti Seeks Better Antitrust Relations with U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- European Antitrust Commissioner Mario Monti on Tuesday wrapped up two days of meetings with his U.S. counterparts vowing to better harmonize regulatory activities.
Monti met Monday with the Department of Justice antitrust chief Charles James and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Timothy Muris for a daylong work session.
Of particular interest was improved cooperation in the area of mergers. Earlier this year, the EU quashed the planned merger of Honeywell and GE, much to the dismay of U.S. regulators who had approved the deal.
"The meeting provided the parties the opportunity to reflect upon past cooperative endeavors in the areas of merger review, cartel investigations and other antitrust matters," said the Department of Justice in a statement.
Monti confirmed that he did discuss the Microsoft case with James and Muris, but declined to give details. Microsoft has yet to reply to the EUs most recent Statement of Objections regarding anti-competitive behavior in media player markets.
"We reviewed the subject of Microsoft and agreed to have the appropriate consultation, but there are limitations in that area as to the specific exchange of information," Monti said.
The U.S. and E.U. have been working closely on antitrust matters for the past ten years.
"This is not the first time weve met," Monti said. "We reviewed progress in different fronts in terms of cooperation in competition policy. GE-Honeywell was the exception."
Monti met with Sen. Herb Koh. (D-Wisc.) on Tuesday. Kohl characterized the meeting as "very good," but added, "GE-Honeywell will not be the way things proceed in the future."