ASCOLA Competition Law series
Edited by Josef Drexl and Fabiana Di Porto
Chapter 5: New frontiers for competition advocacy and the potential role of competition impact assessment
The chapter explores the question of how best to increase the effectiveness of advocacy activities in order to improve competition-friendly regulation, an objective which is shared both by regulators and competition authorities. In this framework, three tools are analysed and compared: the use of competition concepts in rule-making, traditional advocacy interventions and competition impact assessment. The chapter concludes that (ex ante and ex post) competition impact assessment might be considered a new advocacy tool and the most effective among them. Its effectiveness is related to the intrinsic characteristic of this tool, which is used before a formal rule-making procedure is opened: it is based on the economic analysis, and always takes into consideration the option not to intervene through regulation. However, the effectiveness of competition impact assessment depends on some procedural choices (e.g. only important rules with a potential significant impact on competition should be considered) and on the condition that it is not used in a ritualistic way. The chapter also underlines that the involvement of competition authorities might increase the effectiveness of competition assessment (e.g. by enhancing the robustness of the economic analysis and therefore addressing the above-mentioned risk of a ritualistic approach), even though some issues remain unsolved, one of the most important being how best to balance the role of regulators and competition authorities.
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