Justified Regulatory Reform in Antitrust Requires Cost-Benefit Analysis: Global Antitrust Institute Comment to the Australian Treasury on the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's Digital Platform Services Inquiry, Interim Report No. 5 (Regulatory Reform)

19 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2023

See all articles by John M. Yun

John M. Yun

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School

Douglas H. Ginsburg

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School

Bruce H. Kobayashi

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School

Abbott B. Lipsky

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School

Alexander Raskovich

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Joshua D. Wright

Lodestar Law and Economics

Date Written: January 23, 2023

Abstract

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its Digital Platform Services Inquiry, Interim Report No. 5 (Regulatory Reform) in September 2022. In December 2022, the Australian Treasury requested comments on the report. The ACCC Report recommends, inter alia, several far-reaching regulatory proposals focused on competition policy—namely, placing “targeted obligations” on a wide range of conduct by “Designated Digital Platforms.” The recommended “targeted obligations” would cover conduct including self-preferencing, tying, exclusive agreements, use of defaults, platform design, interoperability, data portability, “unfair” terms of service, and price parity clauses. The Global Antitrust Institute's submission addresses the broader policy question of what the proper justification should be for implementing new competition regulations. In doing so, the comment highlights the emerging economic literature on the impact of the EU’s GDPR, which illustrates that competition regulations can be multi-faceted and place real burdens on market participants. Further, the comment addresses specific practices that the report targets for reform—that is, self-preferencing, the use of pre-installed software and defaults, and interoperability. We find that the report tends to be more concerned with the welfare of rivals than consumers.

Keywords: digital platforms, targeted obligations, regulation, self-preferencing, defaults, interoperability, cost-benefit analysis, ACCC, GDPR

JEL Classification: K21, L12, L24, L40, L41, L42, L43, L51

Suggested Citation

Yun, John M. and Ginsburg, Douglas H. and Kobayashi, Bruce H. and Lipsky, Abbott B. and Raskovich, Alexander and Wright, Joshua D., Justified Regulatory Reform in Antitrust Requires Cost-Benefit Analysis: Global Antitrust Institute Comment to the Australian Treasury on the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's Digital Platform Services Inquiry, Interim Report No. 5 (Regulatory Reform) (January 23, 2023). George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 23-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4335282 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4335282

John M. Yun (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Douglas H. Ginsburg

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ( email )

333 Constitution Ave NW
Room 5523
Washington, DC 20001
United States

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Bruce H. Kobayashi

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8034 (Phone)
703-993-8088 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~bkobayas

Abbott B. Lipsky

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Alexander Raskovich

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Joshua D. Wright

Lodestar Law and Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 751
Mclean, VA 22101
United States

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