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Competition Advocacy Contest 2024

February 01-May 17, 2024

Competition Advocacy Contest winners 2024

Six winning stories and seven stories worthy of honorable mention were selected among 48 entries submitted by both government authorities and non-governmental organizations from around the world, along the following themes:

  • Theme 1 – Fostering job opportunities and firm growth through competition advocacy
  • Theme 2 - Competition advocacy to leverage new technologies while limiting the risks for markets
  • Theme 3 - Embedding competition in industrial policies through advocacy
  • Theme 4 - Raising awareness on competition by communicating on impact and results

Panellists of the ICN-WBG 2023 Competition Advocacy Contest:

  • Eleanor M. Fox, Walter J. Derenberg Professor of Trade Regulation, New York University School of Law
  • Mariana Tavares de Araujo, Senior Partner, Levy & Salomão Advogados
  • Martha Martinez Licetti, Practice Manager; Markets, Competition and Technology Global Unit; Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, the World Bank
  • Graciela Miralles Murciego, Senior Economist; Markets, Competition and Technology Global Unit; Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, the World Bank

Theme 1 - Fostering job opportunities and firm growth through competition advocacy

Competition policy is a key driver for job creation and firm growth, particularly for SMEs (OECD, 2015UNCTAD 2022). Effective competition advocacy not only supports economic growth and government resilience but also paves the way for more and better jobs and SME development. Competition advocacy initiatives submitted under this topic enabled young, innovative entrepreneurs to compete with incumbents and benefit from financial inclusion, which is critical for women and youth. Initiatives also liberalized labor markets by addressing non-compete clauses/non-poaching agreements.


El Salvador

In El Salvador, micro and small enterprises (MSEs) account for over 98% of businesses and are mostly women-led, generating income and employment and significantly contributing to GDP. In this context, the Competition Superintendence (SC) of El Salvador implemented a multi-year advocacy strategy aimed at promoting a pro-competition culture to address the obstacles faced by MSEs. The strategy involved studies identifying barriers for MSE participation in public procurement and access to financial services, awareness campaigns, and collaboration with other agencies like the MSMEs authority. As a result, the SC supported initiatives to improve MSEs’ access to credit and public procurement, and to incorporate MSE considerations into competition compliance guidelines and procurement procedures.

Honorable Mentions


The Autoridade da Concorrência (AdC) adopted a Best Practices Guide to Prevent Anti-Competitive Agreements in Labour Markets following a public consultation of more than 30 stakeholders including government ministries, trade unions, business associations, and recruitment agencies. The Best Practices Guide aimed at raising awareness on the negative impacts on competition, workers, and consumers of agreements related to hiring practices (no-poach agreements) and wage-fixing. The Guide advised companies to eliminate these practices and comply with competition law, emphasizing that anyone could submit complaints related to these agreements. This initiative has led to further investigations, leniency requests, and complaints, resulting in sanctioning decisions and fines.


In the US, an estimated 30 million workers are subject to noncompete clauses. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) banned noncompete clauses nationwide to promote competition and protect workers’ freedom to change jobs while fostering innovation and boosting new business formation. The FTC received overwhelming support for the proposed ban on noncompete clauses, with over 25,000 comments in favor during the public comment period. Under the new rule, existing noncompete clauses for most workers will no longer be enforceable, except for senior executives. The rule is expected to generate over 8,500 new businesses annually, raise worker wages, lower healthcare costs by up to $194 billion over the next decade, and drive innovation with an estimated increase of 17,000 to 29,000 patents per year for the next 10 years.

Theme 2 – Competition advocacy to leverage new technologies while limiting the risks for markets

New technologies offer great opportunities for growth and innovation from the creation of new markets and products to revolutionizing traditional industries, even impacting the way competition authorities conduct their investigations and advocacy work. By fostering an environment that encourages the use of new tools and technologies while tackling their risks, competition advocacy can propel markets forward. Initiatives under this theme addressed specific challenges in digital markets from eliminating regulatory barriers in transportation, finance, broadcasting and online advertising to better understanding generative AI and using machine learning in cartel detection.  



The Comision Nacional de Competencia of Paraguay (CONACOM) promoted competition in digital services within regulated markets, particularly in the transport and financial sectors. In transport, CONACOM initiatives enabled digital platforms like Uber and Bolt to compete with traditional taxis by supporting the elimination of stricter regulatory requirements for operators with new business models. CONACOM's efforts led to municipalities rejecting ordinances that limited entry of ride hailing applications and prompted the Congress to reconsider a draft law disadvantaging digital providers. Similarly, CONACOM intervened to prevent legislation that could hinder competition in electronic transactions, thus limiting financial inclusion. In line with the Central Bank views, the Commission advocated for the elimination of overly restrictive identification measures and encouraged proportional risk-based regulation.

Honorable Mentions


The Autoridade da Concorrência (AdC) published an Issues Paper on the competition conditions in the development and deployment of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). The paper recognized that Generative AI could contribute up to 7% of the world's GDP in ten years and be present across services from research and education to healthcare and entertainment. The AdC emphasized three conditions to foster competition in AI namely access to data, access to cloud computing or specialized hardware and access to foundational generative AI models. Key competition risks identified included inherent trends towards concentration and exclusionary behaviour. The initiative enhanced the understanding of the AdC on Generative AI and built internal capacity for addressing potential concerns.


Since 2015, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) has been at the frontier of bid rigging detection. The CNMC established a public procurement database aggregating essential information sourced from multiple public procurement channels and created an Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) that developed cutting edge analytical tools, from task automation algorithms to natural language processing. Leveraging these innovative techniques, the CNMC has published reports on key procurement markets. These efforts underscore CNMC's dedication to leveraging new technologies to fight economic cartels and safeguard market competition.

Theme 3 - Embedding competition in industrial policies through advocacy

Governments across the world are increasingly reconsidering the role of industrial policies as a mechanism to strategically promote key economic activities, including in the context of green transition, yet evidence shows that industrial policies without a competition angle might miss the mark. Initiatives under this theme confirmed the importance of early engagement in the design of industrial policies. Initiatives embedded competition principles through clear methodologies and involvement of affected market operators. Initiatives also aimed to better understand their impact ex post to leverage lessons learnt for future design in key markets from telecommunications and railways to food and construction.



Ex post evaluation of industrial policies is key to refine future policies, guarding against competition distortions and improving effectiveness of public spending. In this context, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of public spending on a broadband deployment plan targeting underserved areas. The CNMC analysis found a significant increase in fiber optic usage and a decrease in market concentration, particularly in municipalities with populations under 10,000. Recommendations were provided to enhance the efficiency of public intervention, emphasizing coordination between national and regional administrations and the promotion of public-private collaboration. These insights can inform future broadband infrastructure deployment strategies and provide a template for systematic evaluation of industrial policy.


Following a devastating earthquake in February 2023 that affected 14 million people and caused 104 billion worth of damage, the Turkish Competition Authority, Rekabet Kurumu (RK) engaged with local businesses to better understand competition problems that could delay recovery efforts. These exchanges prompted the launch of an inquiry targeting crucial sectors for economic recovery namely construction and healthcare. Key stakeholders in this process included regional development agencies and chambers of commerce and industry. The RK established direct communication channels with local chambers to provide guidance and prevent anti-competitive practices. Further results include the opening of an investigation into price-fixing among cement producers. This initiative, which built on similar experience of peer agencies (including the Japan Fair Trade Commission), demonstrates the importance of ensuring competition during reconstruction.

Honorable Mention

New Zealand

The New Zealand Commerce Commission developed the Competition Assessment Guidelines to help policy-makers incorporate competition principles into policy. The authority collaborated with its monitoring government agency to develop and publish the guidelines, recognizing the far-reaching implications of overlooking competition in policy decisions, especially amidst crises like COVID-19. The guidelines serve as a user-friendly resource for public officials, offering practical advice on considering competition in initiatives that shape markets. Through targeted training sessions and engagement events, the tools have reached over 400 public officials.

Theme 4 - Raising awareness on competition by communicating on impact and results

Communication is a key component of effective competition advocacy, including for demonstration effects, sustainability of reforms and peer to peer learning. More than 20 submissions under this theme showed a myriad of innovative techniques to effectively raise awareness of the benefits of competition and develop a competition culture. Initiatives were diverse: from engaging with the youth and promoting immersive learning experiences to carrying ex post evaluations to quantify the impact of pro-competition interventions and promoting strategic alliances across countries and regions.


Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Competition Commission (HKCC) launched an innovative TV docudrama series to raise awareness of the importance of competition law and policy across the business community. By depicting real-life competition law cases in an engaging format, the series, accompanied by a comprehensive publicity campaign, garnered over 3.47 million online views and contributed to a 30% year-on-year increase in complaints and inquiries received by the HKCC. The HKCC launched the series following 3 major cartel cases affecting public housing which prompted revisions to government policies, enhancing protections for lower-income residents. The initiatives also heightened demand from government departments for the HKCC's competition advice on public policies and programs, reflecting its growing influence and impact beyond enforcement.


Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica (COFECE) marked the 10th anniversary of its establishment as an autonomous institution and the 30th anniversary of the Competition Law. To celebrate, COFECE published a commemorative book, Competition Policy: Past, Present, and Future. COFECE gathered opinions, analysis, and reflections from key stakeholders, including academic specialists, public officials, former members of the agency's governing board, and international peers. The book was presented at two events, including an international fair and a panel hosted by the agency, and is currently distributed in government institutions and public universities, with free access available for all interested parties.

Honorable Mentions


The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) launched the Arab Competition Network contest for economics and law students. The contest was designed to raise awareness on competition-related matters among college students of law and economics. Students joined from twenty-seven universities across members states of the Arab Competition Network, where the program engaged 42 students in an immersive learning experience. Through interactive sessions, trainees were organized into teams to analyse hypothetical scenarios related to competition law. Early engagement with young talent fosters a competition culture and creates future advocates for pro-competition policies. Two students who participated in the Arab Competition Authorities Simulation joined their national competition authorities.


The Urząd Ochrony Konkurencji I Konsumentów (UOKiK) started a Summer Camp for students. Recognizing the importance of having skilled professionals to enforce competition regulations effectively, the initiative sought to attract students from universities across the country to participate in workshops on competition law and the agency's activities. By engaging directly with 50 universities and leveraging online platforms and influencers, the project aimed at promoting the institution as an attractive employer and raise awareness on the importance of competition law. The participants are expected to serve as future ambassadors, advocating for a culture of competition, wherever they may go.