Competition policy is recognizing the challenges of regulating conglomerate ecosystems in the era of digitalization. However, the need to bridge the gap between recognition and policy action remains. To discuss how, Elena Rovenskaya led a thematic session at the UNCTAD eWeek 2023.
On 5 December, Elena Rovenskaya, Program Director for Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA) moderated a thematic session titled “Digital Ecosystems and Competition Law: Ecological Approach” in Geneva, Switzerland at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) eWeek 2023 as part of the ECOANTITRUST project jointly undertaken by ASA and the BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre. The session served discussions on the recent strides made in competition regulation in adapting toward the ecosystem business models dominating several economic sectors.
In her introductory speech, Rovenskaya underscored the indispensable role of DPE services in facilitating social and economic activities in the modern world. Her speech demonstrated how competition authorities are adapting toward ecosystems-based approached to assess mergers and acquisition cases, where DPE orchestrators already use ‘ecosystem’ terminology for their own benefit. She cited UK Competition Markets Authority’s (CMA) recent inquiry of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard and the EU Commissions’ recent rejection of Booking.com’s acquisition of eTraveli as two prominent cases which indicate the emergence of ecosystem-based perspectives from competition authorities to assess mergers.
The session featured the keynote speech by Alexey Ivanov, Director of the BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre on the need for further development of ecosystem-approaches in competition policy. Ivanov explained how shifting to an ecological worldview could benefit competition regulators in reviving competition by prioritizing diversity and innovations of agents over productive and pricing efficiency. His presentation highlighted the main motivations of the ECOANTITRUST project, which seeks to examine DPEs as complex adaptive systems (CAS) and apply an advanced set of concepts and tools developed under ecological disciplines for their sustainable regulation.
The session invited presentations from high-level decision-makers including Marat Omarov, Chairman Agency for the Protection and Development of Competition Kazakhstan and Tembinkosi Bonakele, former commissioner of the Competition Commission of South Africa. It also featured presentations from prominent experts in the fields of BRICS competition law and policy Nicolo Zingales, Professor at Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV Direito Rio) and Cui Zhiyuan, Professor at School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University.
The session was held under the auspices of the UNCTAD eWeek 2023 which showcased contributions from over 3,000 senior policymakers, industry stakeholders, and experts from multilateral organizations around the world to address critical issues around the future of digital economies and achieving sustainable outcomes.
To read more about the UNCTAD eWeek 2023 and the thematic session “Digital Ecosystems and Competition Law: Ecological Approach”, click here.
To read more about our past presentations, click here.
To see our poster summary on the ECOANTITRUST project, click here.
24 January 2023