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Rethinking Competition in the Digital Economy

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As we´ve seen, ensuring competition in digital markets implies challenges for competition authorities around the world in two fronts: i) fostering a regulatory environment that promotes competition and free market access in various productive activities in which companies offer goods and services with the help of digital technology and that compete with companies that abide by “traditional” business models, and ii) the enforcement of competition regulatory frameworks when these new firms break the law. Bearing these challenges in mind, on October 31st, 2017 COFECE hosted the 2017 Jornada por la Competencia (National Competition Day). The theme was Mexico: Competition-related challenges in the digital economy. This forum set the stage for COFECE to foster the debate and analysis on the way that companies compete for consumer preference in digital environments. Experts and relevant agents shared their understanding on the matter with the objective to better comprehend: 1. The characteristics of digital markets which imply positive and/ or negative effects on the degree of competition and free market access. 2. The need (or absence thereof) to regulate markets and new activities that emerge from the digital economy and, in such cases, other public policy objectives that new regulation should strive to meet as it promotes innovation and competition. 3. The challenges and scope of the competition legal frameworks to prevent and correct firms’ conducts and anticompetitive market structures in this context. This document takes some of the issues presented and discussed during the event as well as the deliberations presented in other forums and specialized texts as a starting point. The objective is to begin to outline the questions and challenges that arise in relation to competition policy in the context of the digital economy.