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Introducing the First CPI Film Festival

 |  September 21, 2016

Lindsay McSweeney, Sep 13, 2011

A recurrent theme in global competition policy is the need to communicate—important not only for countries just developing their competition policy structures, but also for established programs. And this communication must be multi-faceted. Authorities need to explain to the consumer/citizen what competition policy is, and why it’s beneficial to economic welfare. They need to explain to enterprises what the antitrust laws are and how they’re enforced. Finally, they need to provide detailed explanations of specific topics, such as leniency programs for cartels, merger notifications, or—in many countries—how different enforcing agencies work together.

In this spirit, we present the first CPI Film Festival. First, we asked authorities from Sweden, Japan, the U.K. Office of Fair Trading, Singapore, and Poland, who have produced especially interesting videos, to introduce their media and share with us their approaches to design production. Some of these videos contain striking re-enactments of dawn raids, others take a humorous approach—all provide an entertaining and educational few minutes.

And to round out the group we wanted to include four more presentations that are definitely worth a look:

  • The Netherlands Competition Authority ‘s film, Leniency in Cartels. With its dramatization of a cartel and dawn raid, this film is reminiscent of the beginning of an action film in the style of the Bourne Identity or James Bond. View it on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5diFAaJdweI&feature=related.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice’s secret taping of a meeting of the Lysine Cartel is must viewing for all antitrust practitioners. Not the best production value, given the use of a hidden camera, but the audio is loud and clear. And the jokes about the FBI and the FTC certainly belie any possible claim of ignorance by the participants: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E21YYoxRs5g&feature=related.
  • The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has designed an interactive website to “teach kids about being better consumers,” set in a classic teenage setting—a shopping mall. It includes humor, games, and extra lessons for parents and teachers. Visit the Food Court to see how the site addresses antitrust issues: competition is taught through selecting the best pizza from among three stands; mergers and monopolies are introduced through a “tragic” loss of chocolate chip cookie dough due to consolidation; price-setting is learned through a candy store game dealing with supply and demand; and there is a movie on the history of competition—which even explains the origin of the word, “antitrust.”http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/youarehere/site.html#/first-time-here.
  • DG Comp has a different approach than any of the others with their Competition—Improving Your Lifevideo. It provides a universal approach—there’s no language barrier as there’s no talking. The video uses color scenes and catchy music to present the benefits of competition and black and white scenes and solemn music to present problems posed by a lack of competition.

Competition policy can be involved, intricate, and complicated—but it needs to be taught. Hopefully, this film festival will communicate some ideas on how to do so effectively and enjoyably.

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