Stricter competition regulation in digital markets is a growing trend in the global north, with the Digital Markets Act in Europe being the poster child of a more interventionist approach.
In an article for World Competition journal, RBB’s Richard Murgatroyd, Theon van Dijk and Simon Lee, don’t focus on the debate surrounding these European efforts, but instead examine similar developments elsewhere in the world, namely in South Africa, India, China, and Brazil.
With reference to recent enforcement activities in these countries (such as industry investigations, greater scrutiny of mergers and of individual firm conduct, and in some cases ex ante regulations targeted at specific categories of firms), they provide their views on the potential adverse consequences of seeking to replicate the European approach in instances where digital markets may be less mature. In particular, while it is generally understood that heavy-handed regulation can stifle innovation and chill competition, they argue that such risks are more acute in countries outside of Europe (and North America), which thus warrants more cautious regulation methods. This is especially the case where the policy objectives deviate from the traditional one of protecting competition rather than competitors, since such an approach runs the risk of promoting short term gains at the expense of long-term benefits, which may ultimately harm the very stakeholders that such regulation is designed to advantage.
The full article can be accessed on Kluwer Law Online. Please note this article is accessed behind a paywall.