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Competition Law International (CLI)

About Competition Law International

Competition Law International is the journal of the Antitrust Section of the IBA. It provides an insight into international competition law issues with articles that are of practical interest. Published twice a year, the journal reaches over 1,400 competition law practitioners worldwide.

Recent articles have included:

  • The United States Federal Trade Commission: continuity and challenges
  • The new French competition law enforcement regime
  • Antitrust in China - a constantly evolving subject
  • Antitrust issues involving acquisitions of financially distressed companies

Subscriptions

Members of the Antitrust Section receive Competition Law International as part of their membership. PDF-only subscriptions are also available to non-members. Please email editor@int-bar.org to order.

ISSN 1817 5708
Pricing: £71 per issue
£144 per year, two issues per year
Five per cent agency discount available on annual subscriptions

Latest Issue - Vol 17 No 2 – December 2021

In rapid succession, a number of jurisdictions have moved away from focusing on antitrust enforcement to the proposed regulation of digital platforms. Ostensibly, the regulatory focus is about competition and potential concerns that traditional ex post enforcement may be ill-equipped to address the power of digital platforms. This article focuses on the realities of what platform regulation might mean, and how to better frame and structure the nature of appropriate regulation. This article first identifies a number of the different approaches to regulation that various jurisdictions have put forward, and then lays out six basic principles for platform regulation to help address some of the potential harms that such approaches may unwittingly be pursuing.

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Competition issues in digital markets have captured a large share of the attention of the antitrust community over the past two years. Large digital platforms, which were once considered to be dynamic entrepreneurs and genuine challengers, are today seen by many as behemoths who leverage enormous power to preserve their reign and spread their tentacles across digital industries, stifling competition and innovation on the way.

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Since the People’s Republic of China’s adoption of the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) in 2007, and its coming into effect in 2008, scant enforcement attention has been directed at abuse of dominance in the digital economy. While there have been some – mostly unsuccessful – abuse of dominance cases brought by private plaintiffs, the enforcement authorities, previously the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) and, currently, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and their provincial and local counterparts, have put relatively less emphasis on abuse of dominance cases.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated Korea’s progression towards an ‘untact’, or contactless, economy. Working from home is now a culture for many, and digital transactions and services are becoming a necessity for businesses and consumers. With many of today’s social and economic activities taking place online, digital markets in Korea have grown exponentially in recent years and are expected to fundamentally change both personal and professional lives. Amid this rapidly evolving digital landscape, enforcement authorities in Korea – including its competition law authority, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) and information communications technology sector regulator, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) – are proactively addressing new competition and consumer protection issues arising from the digital economy, leading to an increasing number of multilateral regulatory probes.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) final report into markets for the supply of digital advertising technology (the ‘Ad Tech Report’) was published on 28 September 2021 following an 18-month market inquiry by the ACCC. Market inquiries, which are directed by the Australian Treasurer, are an important part of the ACCC’s functions. Market inquiries improve the ACCC’s understanding of industry practices, competitive dynamics and assist the ACCC to proactively identify market failures and risks to both consumers and the competitive process. Policy recommendations are one of the key potential outcomes of market inquiries. The ACCC was first directed to look at digital platform markets in late 2017 in the Digital Platform Inquiry. That inquiry focused on the effect of search engines, social media platforms and digital content aggregators on media and advertising markets. The inquiry culminated in a far-reaching report, published in August 2019 with 23 recommendations.

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Voltaire’s Dr Pangloss was wrong. This is not the ‘best of all possible worlds’. Everything can be improved. That is one of my fundamental beliefs. Relentless forward progress. I have been asked to provide some reflections on the European Union’s antitrust procedures under Regulation 1/2003 from a United Kingdom perspective. Can anything be learned from British antitrust procedures? One thing we do know in the UK, especially in terms of competition law, at least, is that every ten years Her Majesty’s Government, in its wisdom, does a review and fundamentally changes either our institutions or laws. Such changes may not need to be this frequent, as they always involve a great deal of distraction for competition officials and time that could be better spent on enforcement. Nevertheless, the changes to the UK system always come from some loud sustained complaint that competition law enforcement in the UK has been riddled with confirmation bias, or too convoluted, or duplicative, or not fast or targeted enough.

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How to order

Members of the Antitrust Section receive Competition Law International as part of their membership. PDF-only subscriptions are also available to non-members. Please email editor@int-bar.org to order.

ISSN 1817 5708
Pricing: £71 per issue
£144 per year, two issues per year
Five per cent agency discount available on annual subscriptions

Review books

Please send details of books for review to editor@int-bar.org.

Guidelines for authors

Copyright and Disclaimer

Copyright: The IBA holds copyright in all articles, newsletters and papers published by them. If you wish to reproduce or distribute any IBA publication or any part of an IBA publication, permission must be requested in writing from the Managing Editor at editor@int-bar.org, and due acknowledgment given.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in journals, newsletters and papers are those of the contributors, and not necessarily those of the International Bar Association