ASEAN Flag AU Flag NZ Flag

Competition Experts Discuss Regulation of Digital Markets in ASEAN

27 July 2021

On 27 July 2021, Forty-five ASEAN competition officials representing all ASEAN Member States gathered virtually to attend a panel discussion aimed to help build the capacity of ASEAN competition agencies to tackle issues relating to competition law and digital markets.

Delivered under the Competition Law Implementation Program (CLIP) Phase IV of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Economic Cooperation Support Programme (AECSP), this interactive panel discussion examined approaches to regulating competition in digital markets in ASEAN.

This panel discussion on the regulation of digital markets featured academic and regulatory experts, namely:
  • Professor William Kovacic, Global Competition Professor of Law and Policy, George Washington University;
  • Ms Ng Ee Kia, Assistant Chief Executive, Policy, Business & Economics, Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore;
  • Ms Morag Bond, General Manager Digital Platforms, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC);
  • Professor Steven Van Uytsel, Associate Professor of Competition Law, Kyushu University; and
  • Dr Wendy Ng, Director of the Competition Law and Economics Network, University of Melbourne (panel discussion facilitator).
The panellists responded to questions and discussed issues with reference to ASEAN, including ex-ante regulation of digital markets, institutional design and policy infrastructure, privacy and competition, and cooperation in enforcing competition law in the digital economy. Noting the complexity of issues arising in these markets, the panel highlighted the importance of ASEAN regulators in understanding the context before identifying appropriate policy approaches.

Ms Ng Ee Kia commented, “It is important to understand the digital market landscape—who are the players involved, what is the state of development and how the public is using these digital services—before considering what the appropriate regulatory approach is.”

Panellists also recognised the importance of building institutional expertise and the value of conducting and sharing studies and assessments as part of this process. Professor Kovacic further commented, “Collaboration within ASEAN is of critical importance in this area, as is the adaptability of regulatory approaches and ensuring there is flexibility in the application of policy in this dynamic and complex environment.”

The activity was delivered by the ACCC in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat. Supported by the AECSP, CLIP works with ASEAN competition agencies to build knowledge and practical expertise in the region by sharing resources, skills, and techniques for effective competition law implementation.

Find more media releases