The ICC Global report on antitrust enforcement in the digital economy provides country-by-country surveys and a summary of the key aspects of antitrust enforcement in the digital economy in 19 jurisdictions, covering merger control, horizontal and vertical agreements and abuse of dominance.
Balancing innovation and antitrust enforcement in the digital economy
The digital economy is transforming economies and society globally. It is opening new markets and enabling consumers to keep up with news, share creative content and connect with people around the world.
On the other hand, technological developments, be they in relation to platforms, app stores, cloud computing or artificial intelligence, as well as related data and privacy issues, continue to fuel the competition debate. Competitive dynamics and conduct of firms active in the digital economy have raised some concerns among competition authorities.
In some cases, competition authorities have intervened to safeguard competition and innovation, which they fear may be stifled by firms with market power. This has resulted in a growing number of merger reviews, market studies and antitrust enforcement cases as well as several policy and legislative changes in the competition field.
Why is harmonised antitrust enforcement important?
ICC supports the general approach of competition regimes to enforcement in the digital economy. However, ICC considers it important to ensure that business models and digital markets continue to develop in a competition framework which enables both large and small players to thrive and delivers benefits to consumers.
In particular, ICC encourages greater global convergence and efficiency in the enforcement of antitrust laws in the digital economy and makes the following recommendations:
- Enforcement should avoid inconsistencies across jurisdictions, as far as possible.
- Merger regimes should take care not to stifle start-up investment.
- Authorities should ensure that obligations imposed by ex-ante regimes do not dampen incentives to innovate.
- Remedies under merger control and conduct enforcement regimes should be proportionate, reasonable, and reviewable by courts.
ICC offers a range of practical tools on competition law and antitrust compliance for companies of all sizes and across sectors and works to build understanding between business and regulatory agencies.