Abstract: As the first installment of a two-part series, this Article reports the results of an empirical investigation designed to explore whether capital-raising practices in Europe in 1999 might illuminate the on-going debate in U.S. academic circles over the value of regulatory competition in international securities markets. Drawing on a series of 50 in-depth interviews with lawyers, investment bankers and regulators from London and other European financial centers, this Article presents new data about capital-raising practices in Europe in 1999. The authors find little evidence of the sort of market dynamics traditionally predicted by either proponents or critics or regulatory competition. Their research suggests that variations in the stringency of national systems of securities regulation across Europe is not a major factor in determining where and how European issuers access capital markets. Rather, European capital-raising practices seem to be heavily influenced by market forces that require issuers engaged in pan-European offerings to meet disclosure and due diligence standards modeled on and comparable to practices developed for private placements in the United States. The research also suggests that the growth of efficient trading linkages between European stock exchanges may diminish the need for European issuers to concern themselves with the legal requirements of other member states, a phenomenon not usually factored into discussions of regulatory competition in international securities markets.