23 July 2019
Competition policy has moved to the first rank of policy debate around the world, and has even become the subject of slogans in political campaigns. Speakers at the Chatham House Competition Policy Conference on 23 May 2019 identified various issues that are driving public discontent, such as the performance of the economy and of certain companies, a case-by-case approach to enforcement by antitrust agencies, which may miss the "bigger picture" of systemic cumulative effects of individual actions and transactions, and a "new economic order" in which monopolies and oligopolies are the rule.
The broad consensus among speakers was that these concerns do necessitate some changes to competition policy and enforcement tools. Much of the debate focused on what those changes should be, and the extent to which some problems are rooted in other kinds of social policy failures and are therefore better addressed by other forms of regulation.
Read the briefing in full for a discussion of the broad themes that emerged from the various different sessions.