Shirley Playfair Lecture 2008

The Shirley Playfair Lecture Series is an Annual Lecture which focuses on Competition Law and Policy and seeks to facilitate healthy discussions on competition in a public forum. It was held for the first time in September 2000 to honour the life and work of Mrs. Shirley Playfair, who died tragically while serving in the capacity of the first Chairman of Jamaica’s Competition Agency, the Fair Trading Commission.

THE NINTH Lecture in the Shirley Playfair Lecture Series was presented by Mr. Joseph G. Krauss, attorney-at-law, of the US Law firm Hogan & Hartson, on Wednesday, September 10, 2008, at the Knutsford Court Hotel.

Mr. Krauss, an antitrust practitioner with vast experience in merger and acquisition counseling and litigation in all industries, served the United States Federal Trade Commission for eleven (11) years and was Assistant Director of the Premerger Notification Office in the Bureau of Competition, when he left the Commission in 1999.  His presentation entitled “Adopting Merger Control Laws: Lessons Learned of Patience and Humility” followed opening remarks from the Hon. Michael Stern, Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry Investment & Commerce.

The lecture outlined the many important factors that ought to be given due consideration when deciding how best to implement merger review laws in a developing country such as Jamaica.  Mr. Krauss discussed the benefits of Merger Control or Merger Review; the relevance of Merger Control/Review laws in Smaller Economies; the costs associated with having a Merger Review regime; as well as different types of Merger Review systems.  Throughout the discussion he underscored the fact that, while we deliberate as to whether or not we ought to adopt Merger Review provisions in our statute, there is much information available to us – information such as the mistakes and difficulties encountered by other countries during their process as well as best practices and procedures that have been found to be most successful and least likely to impose unnecessary burdens on the private sector.  In closing he warned that we should “avoid adopting laws that solve only short term problems to the detriment of long-term, sustainable policies that encourage business transactions that result in efficiencies, increased innovation, and societal advances.”

The Lecture was publicized by way of newspaper advertisements and radio and television interviews as well as radio advertisements and episodes in the Under The Law radio series.

Photos from Shirley Playfair Lecture