Taking an ecological perspective to competition policy

A dominant player today need not be anti-competitive. It's critical to consider the longer-term effect of competition rulings on innovation.

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore's (CCCS) regulatory response to the Grab-Uber merger announced in March this year, and the remedies it recommended in its Proposed Infringement Decision last month, have been generally well received by consumers. Many, if not most, consumers would view competition as a universally and unambiguously good thing that ensures low prices and broadens consumer choice.

Associate Professor Burton Ong of the National University of Singapore law faculty points out, correctly, ("Why dominant and small players are treated differently"; ST, Aug 7) that competition law is a craft rather than an exact science. He argues that the CCCS' proposed measures are fair, even if they treat big players (such as Grab) differently from smaller ones.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2018, with the headline 'Taking an ecological perspective to competition policy'. Subscribe