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OECD Competition Meeting: Competition Enforcement & Regulatory Alternatives
Economic regulation and competition policy are interdependent instruments of economic policy which, while distinct, can have overlapping scopes. Competition law seeks to strengthen the workings of markets by prohibiting certain forms of anticompetitive behaviour that, alone or in concert, have the ability to exercise market power. Economic regulation generally involves a State-directed, coercive alteration or derogation of free market mechanisms in a particular sector to address certain ‘market failures’. Even as competition policy and economic regulation often share the common purpose of enhancing market efficiency, it is widely recognised that there can be, and at times are, tensions between them.
In June 2021, the OECD will explore how competition enforcement interacts with possible regulatory alternatives. It will look into whether a regulatory infringement can imply by itself an antitrust violation, whether the existence of a regulation excludes by itself the possibility of antitrust enforcement, and how antitrust enforcement can impact on the content of regulation and on decisions on whether to adopt a new regulation. The goal is to identify common approaches to and best practices concerning the interaction of antitrust rules and regulatory obligations, as well as to explore avenues to overcome the challenges that may be created by such interaction.
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