How does antitrust work on an international scale?

If some American company gets too powerful and begins stamping out all domestic competition, the U.S. government can step in and enforce antitrust laws, but how does this work if some foreign company gets too dominant and begins buying up or stamping out its American/European/Asian competitors?

Is there some international antitrust court that would step in to prevent such predation?

Additional question: Does antitrust only mean **unfair **practices, or does it not restrict fair conduct (in other words, if you utterly dominate your competitors through fair and good practices, such as having high quality while they’re all shoddy, there’s no law that can stop you?)

American anti-trust traditions have had kinda two major phases that differed in how these things were approached. The earlier phase was reactive. Company acts like a dick and becomes monopolistic (or near so), government sues them to force a divestiture.

The current phase is more pro-active. Companies in certain industries have regulations that they need to seek anti-trust approval before buying or merging with competitors. If you don’t get approval, the deal can’t go through. This is also the main method used in Europe now as well.

So if Evil Foreign Corp wants to buy every toad spit factory in America to consolidate the toad spit market, they may face a regulatory challenge from the American government to stop the deal. Some large deals involving diverse conglomerates often have to clear multiple regulatory hurdles from different federal and state agencies before the deal can go through. And often in multiple countries as well. For example, a company that owns airlines and bomb factories might have to get approval from the FAA (which requires domestically-operating commercial airlines to be majority American-owned) and the Pentagon (which requires a certain level of competition for defense manufacturers) and so on. Rinse and repeat for other countries where they intend to own stuff or operate.

You are correct that merely being a monopoly is perfectly fine, as long as you’re not being a dick about it and as long as it doesn’t violate some competition mandate. Intellectual property like copyright and patents are a form of monopoly, for example, and those are perfectly fine.

A foreign company doing business in the US is subject to US anti-trust law. Foreign companies doing business in Europe, like Apple, are subject to Euro anti-competition laws.

no. their US operations are US corporations, and are subject to US anti-trust law.

this is why Japanese auto parts suppliers have been busted more than once on price fixing. The kinds of backroom, “gentlemen’s agreements” deals they’re used to doing in Japan are illegal as all hell here.

but- to your question- the penalties are only applied to their US operations.

As pointed out, it’s your jurisdiction so your rules apply to all players.

The lysine cartel (lysine is an essential amino acid stock feed additive for pigs and poultry) was run globally for decades in a nice cozy arrangement between between four Japanese and Korean manufacturers and only became unglued when ADM entered the sector notionally as a trust buster but soon became a very enthusiastic cartel member.

The lysine cartel was the first successful prosecution of an international cartel by the U.S. Department of Justice in more than 40 years.

And thank Dog for that, Lysine is a great prophylactic for herpes in humans.

The question is how is the local regulatory body going to define the market. Will they define it as the local market or the broader global market? It depends.

But a lack of it kills dinosaurs.