Eduardo Perez-Motta, Jan 29, 2013
CPI ICN Column edited by Maria Coppola (U.S. Federal Trade Commission)
New Year, New Project: Turning the Focus to Competition Policy for 2013 by Eduardo Pérez Motta (Mexican Federal Competition Commission)
This month the ICN launched a new project to prepare guidance on reviewing the competitive effects of proposed and existing government regulations.1 Specifically, the ICN will develop recommended or best practices for competition agencies on conducting and promoting competition impact assessments.
The project is born from the recognition that in the current economic climate, competition agencies must work hard to advocate competition principles with policymakers and stress the importance of competition considerations in formulating economic policy. Of course, competition agencies have an essential enforcement role to play in stopping cartels, preventing anticompetitive mergers, and addressing private anticompetitive conduct, including abusive monopolists, that harm consumers – and the ICN will continue to focus on enforcement matters. However, laws and regulations that restrict competition directly, or through rules that artificially favor some competitors over others, can impose huge costs on the economy that dwarf the costs of private anticompetitive restraints. As stewards of competition policy, competition agencies need to consider these anticompetitive government restraints in addition to their enforcement role.
One way of a