Different approaches to policy discussions

Competition agencies can engage in a variety of ways in external policy processes.  There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to such techniques, but rather agencies must tailor their efforts to the particular problem at hand. Agencies have used a number of different approaches:

Direct: an agency may have, or seek, direct institutional representation in government.

Market Studies: Agencies can undertake sector, or regulation, specific studies to develop the case for reform or review of particular anti-competitive problems. These reviews are particularly valuable in sectors without a specific anti-competitive problem, but that nonetheless, is not working to the benefit of consumers or the wider economy.

Ex-ante Regulation: Competition authorities are well placed to advise policymakers whether the benefits outweigh the costs of regulating, and can help the regulator to avoid causing market distortion.

General Approach: Agencies can influence thinking inside governments and regulators by  regular meetings and feedback sessions; training of government officials through seminars and workshops;  submitting official letters that identify competition risks and the need for remedies; submitting comments and advisory opinions on draft policies; producing reports and publications that offer competition-centred insights and inform governments of agency activity; press releases; seminars for policymakers; interviews with the media; both formal and informal recommendations to other government actors; participation in other forums, such as the courts or the legislative process; informal discussions with regulators; consultation papers; and seeking input from non-governmental entities.