Facebook Twitter

U.S., Israel sign antitrust cooperation pact

SHARE U.S., Israel sign antitrust cooperation pact

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States and Israel will cooperate against price-fixing and other illegal monopoly trade practices in both countries, Attorney General Janet Reno and Israel's trade minister said Monday.

An antitrust cooperation pact will make it easier for the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to work alongside Israeli counterparts to protect consumers, Reno said.Although antimonopoly laws have been on the books for decades in Israel, true consumer protection enforcement is a fairly new idea, The Israeli minister, Natan Sharansky, said at a Justice Department signing ceremony.

His Trade and Industry Ministry usually is regarded as an advocate for business, Sharansky said, but "it is often forgotten ... that the job of the ministry is also to stand up for the rights of the consumer."

The agreement will mean both countries share nonconfidential antitrust information and evidence, Justice Department antitrust chief Joel Klein said.

FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky also signed the agreement, the first for Israel and the fifth for the United States. Other U.S. trade enforcement agreements are with Canada, Australia, Germany and the European Union.