The Ten Principles of Ex Ante Competition Regulation

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Governments and competition agencies considering new laws to regulate competition need not act blindly. Without much experience in competition regulation, they can and should draw upon well-recognized international principles for the design and implementation of ex ante regulation. This article identifies ten principles for ex ante competition regulation designed to avoid pitfalls in regulatory schemes. It draws directly on the prior work of the OECD, as outlined principally in the Guiding Principles for Regulatory Quality and Performance.1 Note that this article does not necessarily endorse the concept of competition regulation as it relates to the digital sector or any other dimension of the economy.2 Rather, this article is offered for those jurisdictions that have considered or imposed ex ante regulation to achieve salutary goals. A failure to observe and apply these principles, by contrast, would reflect a failure to observe fundamental principles of regulatory design.