Embracing Openness Over Preconceptions In The Face Of Digital Competition Law: Assessing The Need Of An Ex-Ante Based Framework

The competition law seeks to curb anti-competitive practices and operates on an ex-post basis, which means it intervenes and takes corrective action after anti-competitive conduct has already occurred. Many believe that this approach can have limitations, especially in digital markets, where the dynamics and pace of innovation can lead to rapid market changes and potential harm to competition.

Last year, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance (Committee) presented its report on ‘Anti-competitive Practices by Big Tech Companies’ (Report). It recommended the introduction of an ex-ante regime for companies operating in digital markets through a new ‘Digital Competition Act’ (DCA) to ensure that their conduct is evaluated ‘ex-ante’ and where companies will have the onus of preventing any anti-competitive practices before serious lapses. Following this, the Government has set up a Committee on Digital Competition Law (CDCL) to examine the need for a separate law on competition in digital markets and the Committee is expected to submit its report by October end.

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