The UK Chancellor has requested an independent review and consultation from an expert panel on the state of competition in the digital economy, to consider what the opportunities and challenges are for policy, both in the UK and internationally. “This is an issue many advanced economies are now choosing to examine carefully.
In addition to our own analysis, we hope to draw on lessons from the work of others when thinking about how the UK competition system might itself adapt. We in turn hope our work will help the UK lead the way internationally in developing approaches to an issue central to ensuring that consumers and the economy benefit fully from the tremendous potential of digital technology.
Our work will be grounded in evidence and we intend to engage with a wide range of experts and interested parties, within the short time available. By responding to this call for evidence you will contribute to the range of evidence that we will consider.
Our work will be helped by receiving the best quality evidence from the widest range of people and organisations.”
The consultation period will run between 12 October 2018 and 7 December 2018 and questions include the following. What are the emerging benefits and harms from digital markets such as social media, e-commerce, search, and online advertising tending towards only one or a small number of big firms? What are the emerging benefits and harms of the same small number of digital firms becoming present across a broad range of digital markets? What effect can the accumulation and concentration of data within a small number of big firms be expected to have on competition? What is the economic impact of the acquisition of smaller firms with relatively small market shares by much larger ones and is this different in the digital space than in other sectors? What tools does competition policy need to deal with issues in the digital economy in a sufficiently timely, effective and far-sighted manner? What approaches are being considered and developed by governments and competition authorities in other major economies?