JAKARTA, 20 November 2015 – A Regional Workshop on Economic Analysis for Competition Law Enforcement and Advocacy was held on 18-19 November in Jakarta to discuss the role and scope of economic analysis within the context of Competition Policy and Law (CPL). The workshop aimed to enhance the knowledge and capabilities of competition officials on economic methods to assess competition cases as well as to measure the economic impact of competition-related reforms.

“The role of economists and economic evidence in competition authorities and the courts have significantly evolved. This is because most modern competition law regimes have economic goals, such as promoting economic efficiency or consumer welfare. As a result, competition law enforcement should be based fundamentally on economic reasoning and evidence,” said Mr. Muhammad Syarkawi Rauf, Chairman of the Commission for the Supervision of Business Competition of Indonesia (KPPU) in his opening remarks.

Economic analysis is an important tool to measure the economic impact of pro-competition reforms. It can be used both as an ex-post as well as an ex-ante instrument to justify or adjust policies and priorities. This is crucial for demonstrating and measuring the benefits of competition vis-à-vis policy-makers and the public and to justify the work of competition agencies in general.

Extensive deliberations were made on the use of economics when investigating cartels, mergers and abuse of dominance cases. Economic analysis is indispensable when investigating merger transactions as well as instances of abuse of dominance. Economic evidence can also supplement and substantiate direct evidence in cartel cases.

Participants shared their experiences on measuring and quantifying the benefits of pro-competition reforms which is crucial in evaluating the work of competition agencies as well as evaluating the consequences of decisions or recommendations made by competition agencies. The results of these evaluations can also serve as good advocacy strategies for competition agencies.

Group exercises were conducted during the workshop to assess a number of hypothetical scenarios and encourage participants to develop theories of harm as well as recommendations. Discussions were facilitated by Mr. Ruben Maximiano and Ms. Federica Maiorano from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as well as Mr. Sam Strudwick-Day from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). This was complemented by specific case examples and experiences shared by Indonesia and Singapore.

The workshop was jointly supported by the KPPU, the ASEAN Secretariat and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, through the project “Competition Policy and Law in ASEAN” (CPL II) which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of Germany.