Developing International Perspectives on Digital Competition Policy
17 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2020
Date Written: March 31, 2020
In 2019, there was a notable ramping up in the international focus around competition issues in digital platform markets, with the publication of expert policy reports in several jurisdictions. There are many similarities across these various reports, including a general recognition that digital platforms have become increasingly important, that they have delivered enormous benefits for consumers, but also that they raise significant competition concerns. Digital platform markets have a tendency towards concentration and towards the creation of ecosystems within which market power may be extended across markets.
This paper compares and contrasts the policy recommendations made in three of the major expert reports, those from the EC, UK and US. These offer similar diagnoses of the underlying economic drivers of competition concerns in digital platform markets. They consider government actions to address these concerns have so far been insufficient.
However, the reports exhibit notable differences in respect to their specific policy recommendations. For example, the UK and US experts both favour the introduction of ex ante regulation, albeit taking on somewhat different functions. The EC experts focus more on setting out recommendations for antitrust, albeit recognising that a regulatory regime may be needed in the longer run. Meanwhile, the US and EC experts are inclined to relax or reverse burdens of proof for both mergers and abuse of dominance, albeit in specified circumstances only, whereas the UK experts do not recommend this. This paper focuses on such similarities and differences of view across the three reports under the categories of mergers, dominance, data, regulation, and international.
Keywords: digital, competition, antitrust, regualtion
JEL Classification: L40, L50, L81, L86, L88, K21 , K23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation