Ex Ante Regulation and Competition in Digital Markets


Regulators are becoming increasingly concerned about rises in market power and the growing influence of the large digital platforms within and beyond the marketplace. These concerns include economic aspects such as whether these companies are purposefully moving to prevent competition, as well as data privacy issues, but also issues related to politics, the control of the media and even the democratic process itself. At the same time, competition law enforcement is perceived as less effective in solving digital competition concerns, and this has spurred a debate about how and whether to regulate, and proposals to intervene with ex-ante regulation have multiplied.

In December 2021, the OECD first and foremost sought to create an understanding of what is on the table in terms of the content of ex-ante regulation. Therefore, a number of agencies from jurisdictions where regulatory proposals have been put forward or implemented will be asked to intervene. In addition, the discussion shed light on the precise nature of the relationship between regulation and competition enforcement in digital markets, and in particular discussed the degree to which ex-ante regulation and ex-post enforcement are complementary rather than antagonistic.

In addition, we discussed issues related to ex-ante regulation: data privacy, consumer protection, the role of fairness, innovation, and economic concentration, and their trade-offs with competition. A higher-level question that was addressed related to the protection of competitors rather than consumer welfare by proposed regulations, and the institutional implementation of the ex-ante regulation.

This page contains all related documentation.



Full list of best practice roundtables on competition  

OECD Handbook on Competition Policy in the Digital Age

2022 OECD Competition Open Day - Replay of Panel 3. Regulation and Competition Enforcement in Digital Markets

On 23 February 2022, ex-ante regulation and competition in digital markets was addressed at the fourth edition of the OECD Competition Open Day. More about the event l Watch all other sessions on replay

Session Information and materials


Amelia Fletcher Bio  ‌  

Professor of Competition Policy, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia 



Ex Ante Regulation and Competition in Digital Markets:
OECD Background note

(French version also available)

Detailed summary of the discussion EN / FR

Executive summary with key findings EN / FR



Summaries of contributions












Videos and presentations

Amelia Fletcher on tensions between goals and considerations when regulating digital markets

Inge Bernaerts and the EU Digital Markets Act

Rod Sims on ACCC sector inquiries and reforms leading to ex ante regulation of digital markets

US DOJ David Lawrence and US FTC Shaoul Sussman on the promotion of competition in digital markets

Philipp Steinberg on the German
Digitisation Act

Andreas Mundt on the German Competition Act 

Will Hayter and the CMA experience with ex-ante pro-competition regime of powerful digital companies

Related best practice roundtables

Market Power in the Digital Economy and Competition Policy (2022)

Disentangling Consummated Mergers – Experiences and Challenges

Data Portability, Interoperability and Competition (2021)

Competition Enforcement and Regulatory Alternatives (2021)

Competition Economics of Digital Ecosystems (2021)

Abuse of Dominance in Digital Markets (2020)

See also

OECD Handbook on Competition Policy in the Digital Age

Regulatory Effectiveness in the Era of Digitalisation (2019)

The Digital Markets Act (European Union) 

OECD Best Practice Roundtables on Competition

Digital Economy, Innovation and Competition

More OECD work on Competition


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