Competition in Digital Markets Hits G7 Nations' Radar

The group agreed to scan for early warning signs of disruption in the distribution of market power.

AccessTimeIconNov 9, 2023 at 9:16 a.m. UTC
Updated Nov 9, 2023 at 1:12 p.m. UTC
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Policymakers from the Group of Seven (G7) advanced nations agreed to collectively scan for early warning signs of developments that may reduce competition in digital markets, according to an announcement on Wednesday.

The communiqué came after the group's Competition Authorities and Policymakers’ Summit in Hiroshima, Japan discussed concerns arising from digital markets. The U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission participated in the summit.

"In this context, G7 competition authorities and policymakers are using their enhanced skillsets to scan the horizon for early warning signs of conduct or market factors that might make markets tip or reduce contestability as well as to identify key technologies and issues that may raise competition concerns in the future," the communiqué said.

"Digital markets can present competition concerns," the statement said. "Markets characterized by network effects, economies of scale, digital ecosystems, and accumulations of large amounts of data can be prone to increasing or creating barriers to entry, tipping, and dominance."

New technologies, in particular, can alter the competitive balance and lead to greater market domination by a smaller group of companies, according to the G7. The meeting concluded that it is essential for policymakers to understand emerging technologies to take swift and proportionate action to prevent harm.

"As the digital economy evolves, new technologies, such as generative artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and metaverse are emerging, allowing some businesses developing or using those technologies to grow rapidly," the announcement said.

The meeting produced three documents – the communniqué, an inventory of new rules for digital markets prepared by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and an analytical note meant to be read with the inventory.

"Despite differences in their regulatory models, all regimes in the Inventory share broadly similar concerns vis-à-vis certain digital firms and adopt similar approaches to identify them," the analytical note said.

Participants committed to share updates on legal reforms, policy advances, institutional changes, and enforcement developments to take timely enforcement and regulatory action to protect competition in digital markets.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Amitoj Singh

Amitoj Singh is a CoinDesk reporter.


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