Safeguarding Competition in Digital Markets: A Comparative Analysis of Emerging Policy and Regulatory Regimes

By Tiago S. Prado (Michigan State University)

This paper presents a comparative analysis of alternative competition policy and regulatory regimes that are proposed to safeguard competition in the digital economy. We review the causes of concentration in several digital markets, and differentiate the objectives of promoting competition in, and for incumbent digital platforms. Then, we analyze five regimes currently suggested in the research literature and explored by practitioners, ranging from precautionary competition policy and traditional ex ante regulatory remedies to ex post competition policy enforcement, ex post regulation and various self-regulation mechanisms. In a time when policy imitation is widespread, our main conclusion is that policy and regulatory regimes, to be effective to promote competition and investment in digital markets, must observe country-specific conditions and challenges. No single approach fits all conditions. This analysis should help policymakers to have a clearer picture on how to design measures to promote competition in the platform economy considering their local context.

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