Is there a need for a visible hand in digital markets?
This article explores whether there is a need for ex ante regulations in digital markets. It explains implications of ex ante regulations in digital markets and focuses on the competition jurisprudence which has generated new terminologies such as ‘tipping’, ‘gatekeepers’ and ‘self-preferencing’ over the last decade, indicating that competition law easily adapts to emerging problems and sweeping ex ante regulation efforts in the digital markets might be uncalled for. In this regard, the article summarizes the on-going debate on whether competition law, as is, can sufficiently address and deliver solutions for competitive concerns in digital markets. Within this scope, the paper examines the alleged competitive concerns in digital markets and argues that it is crucial to first conduct counterfactual analysis with concrete facts, parameters and data, to identify the risks associated with over regulations. The article further contends that the competition law toolkit in place is a sufficient and more appropriate way to deal with anti-competitive conducts and the ongoing ex ante regulation efforts in digital markets are condemned to result in a decline in competition and innovation in the long run.