This section discusses messages a competition agency may use in its role as impartial competition expert in policy review. Government departments and competition agencies can complement each other in maximising competition as a driver for the efficient working of markets, boosting economic growth. Policy objectives pursued through laws and regulations can unnecessarily restrict competition in the marketplace. Competition agencies are well placed to advise government departments about the impact of these restrictions and how to achieve the goals aimed for with less restriction on competition.
They can be particularly helpful in three ways:
- Positive use of competitionPolicies which can be advanced by increased competition, such as public procurement;
- Limiting negative impact on competitionPolicy implementation may create certain restrictions of competition, such as those needed to ensure air traffic security. Agencies are well placed to help departments restrict markets only enough to achieve their desired goal;
- Advising on possible competition impacts in related areasSome policy regimes can generally be considered ‘competition neutral’, such as monetary policy. Here an agency can provide advice on unintended market impacts of otherwise benign policies.
The dialogue between competition authorities and regulatory authorities, Congress or Parliament is a key area of competition advocacy. Advocacy initiatives can be undertaken in order to influence the policy framework and its implementation in a competition-friendly way. For example, in some systems, agencies regularly provide impact assessments, opinions or advice on new legislation or regulation.