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Antitrust in Dynamic Markets: Perspectives from Chief Economists

 |  April 23, 2024

At the conference on March 22, 2024, organized by CPI at the SDA Bocconi School of Management, a panel of former and current chief economists moderated by Oxera’s Barbara Veronese, delved into the enforcement necessary for dynamic and digital markets, exploring various perspectives and experiences from European countries and the European Commission’s DG COMP.

The discussions revolved around the evolving landscape of competition policy, particularly in the context of dynamic and digital markets. Antonio Buttà, Chief Economist of Italy’s AGCM, emphasized the ongoing significance of antitrust enforcement in the digital sector, citing various cases and interventions by competition authorities, including those in Italy. He highlighted the adaptability of competition policy to address challenges in the digital sphere, stressing the importance of continued enforcement efforts to ensure fair market dynamics.


The management of the digital economy will rely on leveraging a range of existing policy tools.”

Antonio Buttà
Chief Economist, AGCM

Building on this, Lluís Saurí, acting Chief Economist of DG COMP, underscored the need for a dynamic approach to competition policy, especially in light of rapid market transformations. He emphasized the importance of considering innovation and potential effects in merger control, highlighting the evolution of enforcement practices towards assessing incentives for innovation and ecosystem dynamics. Saurí also discussed the development of new regulatory tools, such as the Digital Markets Act, to address challenges in digital markets comprehensively.


We’ve identified numerous aspects that may require reassessment. We’ve pushed the boundaries of antitrust enforcement and recognized its limitations in addressing the challenges emerging in dynamic markets within digital economies.”

Lluís Saurí
Acting Chief Economist, DG COMP

Ana Sofia Rodrigues, commissioner and former Chief Economist of the Portuguese Competition Authority, focused on the challenges and opportunities presented by digital markets, particularly regarding merger control and potential competition. She emphasized the importance of adapting enforcement techniques to address emerging issues, such as economic dependence and innovation-related theories of harm. Rodrigues also highlighted the need for collaboration among competition authorities, regulators, and other stakeholders to effectively address competition concerns in digital markets.


This has unveiled an enforcement problem regarding potential competition that goes well beyond the digital sector.”

Ana Sofia Rodrigues
Commissioner & former Chief Economist, Portuguese Competition Authority

Griet Jans, Chief Economist of the Belgian Competition Authority, emphasized the importance of not overlooking traditional sectors amid the focus on dynamic markets, highlighting the continued relevance of competition policy in ensuring healthy market dynamics and stimulating innovation. She emphasized the need for collaboration across sectors and stakeholders to address emerging challenges effectively.


Advocacy efforts play a pivotal role in alleviating the apprehension surrounding companies, particularly in the digital sphere where major platforms often dominate.”

Griet Jans
Chief Economist, Belgian Competition Authority

The panel discussions highlighted the dynamic nature of competition policy in response to evolving market dynamics, particularly in digital markets. As Barbara Veronese commented, “Today we learned that certain things are changing at the speed of light, and other things are changing dynamically, but a lot is in motion and this affects our ability to see markets to remain competitive and dynamic across the board.”


Today’s lesson underscores the rapid evolution of certain elements at the speed of light, while others undergo dynamic change. With so much in flux, our ability to perceive markets and maintain competitiveness across the board is profoundly impacted.”

Barbara Veronese
Partner, Oxera

Key takeaways include the ongoing significance of antitrust enforcement, the need for a proactive approach to address innovation-related challenges, and the importance of collaboration among competition authorities and other stakeholders. As markets continue to evolve, policymakers and regulators face the ongoing challenge of adapting enforcement strategies to ensure fair and competitive market outcomes.