PCC pushes for data science against cartels – Manila Bulletin


The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is pushing for greater use of data science tools in its assessment and reviews of competition issues to uncover cartels and abuses of dominance in the context of the use increasing use of digital technology by businesses and consumers.

Philippine Competition Commission logo

“Big data can be the silent witness of competition authorities in uncovering cartels and abuses of dominance. By analyzing price aberrations and trends and other factors, we strengthen our evidence-based case building and litigation capabilities,” CCP Chairman Arsenio Balisacan said in a statement.

The toolkit encourages the use of empirical techniques for competition assessments, including identifying possible collusive behavior, assessing market power, predicting merger outcomes, and determining appropriate sanctions for anti-competitive behavior.

Balisacan explained that when it comes to antitrust, online platforms are among those that have benefited the most from the pandemic-induced transition to a digital economy. “The strategic use of data can lead to market structures that incentivize players to abuse their dominance. Thus, regulations must adapt to these trends or risk becoming obsolete, or even harming rather than helping companies. consumers and future innovations,” said Balisacan.

The PCC is collaborating with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to create a data science toolkit that will guide regulators and competition authorities in analyzing data, including data from digital platforms .

As the culminating activity of the project, the PCC and the APEC Secretariat organized a capacity building workshop, where the Data Science for Competition Policy Toolkit was presented. Over 300 participants, including representatives of competition authorities from the APEC region, attended the virtual workshop.

In the past, CCP has taken steps to advance its mastery of data science, such as conducting regular workshops for its economists and investigators, and embarking on the 5-year partnership with the Support Program Regulatory Reform for National Development (RESPOND) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

One of the joint projects with the latter aims to use big data in the creation of policies aimed at strengthening competition and the ease of doing business in the country.

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