The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a speech by Alex Chisholm, CMA Chief Executive, covering online platform regulation and the evolution of CMA tools and practices to meet the challenges of the digital economy.

In his speech Mr Chisholm describe how both antitrust and telecoms regulation ought to change, and gives his reasons as to why this period requires more ex post and less ex ante regulation.

Overall Mr Chisholm focuses on three general points:

  • that blanket solutions should be avoided. Mr Chisholm believes that an evidence-based assessment of potential adverse effects of specific industry features or practices should be carried out before either ex ante regulatory or ex post enforcement tools are deployed. He considers that in either case this should be closely targeted to the specific harm identified, and every care given to avoid disproportionate actions and unwelcome side-effects. In that respect, Mr Chisholm stated, that online platforms and the digital economy do not differ from any other sector;
  • the significant risks associated with premature, broad-brush ex ante legislation or rule-making point towards a need to shift away from sector-specific regulation to ex post antitrust enforcement, which is better adapted to the period we’re in, with its fast-changing technology and evolving market reactions; and
  • regulators, policymakers, businesses and consumers, all need to adapt their practices to harvest the benefits of the new while containing its costs and risks.

View Alex Chisholm speaks about online platform regulation, 27 October 2015