As defined by the ICN, competition advocacy refers to activities that promote a competitive environment through non-enforcement mechanisms, such as building relationships with government entities, increasing public awareness of competition’s benefits and identifying and removing anticompetitive policies and regulations.
We are looking for success stories from competition agencies, other public bodies or civil society that demonstrate the tangible results of competition advocacy regarding:
Theme 1. Mitigating the risks of increased concentration and state participation in markets. Although two years have passed since the beginning of the Covid19 crisis, economies are still struggling. Several response measures designed to weather short-term impacts of the pandemic are now posing longer term challenges. At the macro level, rising inflation, public debt, and unemployment have become a common challenge. At the sector level, several industries experienced changes that are likely to affect market dynamics in the longer-term, such as surges in market concentration and increasing relevance of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and state aid. Finally, bottlenecks in labor markets and supply chains further constraint regular market dynamics. Going forward, competition policy has a pivotal role to play not only by deterring anticompetitive behavior, but also by pushing for pro-market government interventions that enable competitive pressure in the long-term. Competition authorities and other advocates are encouraged to share their experiences promoting competitive neutrality and preventing interventions that facilitate anticompetitive outcomes involving, for example, industrial policies and sector regulation, public procurement and bid-rigging, international trade, labor, state support measures, and SOEs.
Theme 2. Spreading the benefits of the digital economy. The digital economy has filled mobility gaps, mended value chains, increased product and service accessibility, and reinvented how the economy works in numerous sectors, from retail banking to e-commerce. However, positive impacts have been accompanied by significant market consolidation, risks of abuse of market power, and concerns regarding privacy and consumer rights. Competition policy can play an important role in understanding changes in the digital economy after the Covid19 pandemic and proposing recommendations to policymakers to balance competition-related risks and benefits with a view to promote a faster and inclusive recovery. Competition authorities and other advocates are encouraged to share their initiatives related to, among others, regulation of digital markets, the role of digital platforms in market dynamics, data as key variable for competition, implication of new technologies for competition (e.g., blockchain, machine learning, artificial intelligence), sector specific challenges such as in financial markets and e-commerce, and development of enabling infrastructures as economies navigate their way out the Covid19 crises.
Theme 3. Engaging through results: successful experiences in planning, implementing, and monitoring advocacy strategies in times of crises. The procedures set by competition agencies to develop and monitor advocacy strategies play an important role in determining their success. Competition advocates are welcome to share successful examples of planning, implementing, and monitoring of advocacy strategies, focusing on the formal or informal steps to set priorities (e.g., analysis of the environment, definition of the advocacy objectives, assessment of the feasibility of the initiatives) and to measure the results of the advocacy interventions. Competition authorities and other advocates are also welcomed to share their experience in collaborating with neighboring authorities to discover restraints that have a cross-border dimension, before taking enforcement action.