Competition enforcement and regulatory alternatives


Economic regulation and competition policy are interdependent instruments of economic policy which, while distinct, can have overlapping scopes. Competition law seeks to strengthen the workings of markets by prohibiting certain forms of anticompetitive behaviour that, alone or in concert, have the ability to exercise market power. Economic regulation generally involves a State-directed, coercive alteration or derogation of free-market mechanisms in a particular sector to address certain ‘market failures’. Even as competition policy and economic regulation often share the common purpose of enhancing market efficiency, it is widely recognised that there can be, and at times are, tensions between them.

In June 2021, the OECD  explored how competition enforcement interacts with possible regulatory alternatives. It looked into whether a regulatory infringement can imply by itself an antitrust violation, whether the existence of a regulation excludes by itself the possibility of antitrust enforcement, and how antitrust enforcement can impact the content of regulation and on decisions on whether to adopt a new regulation. The goal was to identify common approaches to and best practices concerning the interaction of antitrust rules and regulatory obligations, as well as to explore avenues to overcome the challenges that may be created by such interaction.

This page contains all related documentation.


See full list of best practice roundtables on competition  

OECD Handbook on Competition Policy in the Digital Age 


Invited speakers

Niamh Dunne Bio  

Associate Professor of Law, London School of Economics presenting The Role of Regulation in EU Competition Law Assessment

Giorgio Monti Bio 

Professor of Competition Law, Tilburg Law School

Howard Shelanski Bio  

Partner, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Professor of Law at Georgetown University 



OECD Background Note (EN/FR)

competition enforcement regulatory alternatives 2021 paper cover 

Executive Summary with key findings  EN | FR

Detailed Summary of the discussion  EN | FR

The Role of Regulation in EU Competition Law Assessment


Contributions from delegations











United Kingdom

United States




Russian Federation

South Africa

Chinese Taipei


Summaries of contributions


Giorgio Monti on how competition authorities’ regulation and remedies influence competition law

Niamh Dunne on how regulation influences the application of competition law in the EU

Howard Shelanski on the relationship between competition and regulation

Lines of Business Restrictions (2020)

Independent Sector Regulators (2019)

Roundtables on Changes in Institutional Design (2015)

Regulated Conduct Defence (2011)

The Relationship between Competition Authorities and Regulators (2005)

See also

OECD Handbook on Competition Policy in the Digital Age 

OECD best practice roundtables on competition

More OECD work on competition


Documents connexes


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