Regulators are becoming increasingly concerned about rises in market power and the growing influence of the large digital platforms within and beyond the marketplace. These concerns include economic aspects such as whether these companies are purposefully moving to prevent competition, as well as data privacy issues, but also issues related to politics, the control of the media and even the democratic process itself. At the same time, competition law enforcement is perceived as less effective in solving digital competition concerns, and this has spurred a debate about how and whether to regulate, and proposals to intervene with ex-ante regulation have multiplied.
In December 2021, the OECD first and foremost sought to create an understanding of what is on the table in terms of the content of ex-ante regulation. Therefore, a number of agencies from jurisdictions where regulatory proposals have been put forward or implemented will be asked to intervene. In addition, the discussion shed light on the precise nature of the relationship between regulation and competition enforcement in digital markets, and in particular discussed the degree to which ex-ante regulation and ex-post enforcement are complementary rather than antagonistic.
In addition, we discussed issues related to ex-ante regulation: data privacy, consumer protection, the role of fairness, innovation, and economic concentration, and their trade-offs with competition. A higher-level question that was addressed related to the protection of competitors rather than consumer welfare by proposed regulations, and the institutional implementation of the ex-ante regulation.
This page contains all related documentation.
On 23 February 2022, ex-ante regulation and competition in digital markets was addressed at the fourth edition of the OECD Competition Open Day. More about the event l Watch all other sessions on replay
Amelia Fletcher Bio
Professor of Competition Policy, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia
(French version also available)
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Related best practice roundtables
The Digital Markets Act (European Union)