4 December 2023 Paris
Recent developments have raised the questions of what a modern competition authority should look like and how antitrust enforcers could or should adjust to meet the challenges for the future. Challenges include, but are not limited to, the increased importance of digitalisation, use of data and ecosystems (which go beyond the traditional horizontal/vertical relationships), increased concentration in many industries and economies, increasingly global markets and cross-border cases, sustainability concerns and the required support for green policies and the increasing government intervention in international markets.
A discussion on the optimal design of a competition agency can relate to many different issues, as it can cover every aspect of the governance of the authority, of its internal organisation, and of its relationship with the outside. In December 2023, the OECD held a roundtable on the ‘internal’ organisation (including the required skills and resources, investigative tools, procedures and enforcement powers), that can be of use to tackle contemporary challenges for competition authorities. Questions that were discussed during the discussion include:
As such, the discussion did not focus on issues that relate to the objectives of a competition authority (or of competition policy more generally), where a competition authority is situated within the government and its independence (including its legal basis), the functionalities or mandate of an authority (e.g. single function vs. multifunctional), or the chosen governance model (such as prosecutorial vs. administrative or separation of adjudication and investigation roles).
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Contributions from delegations