Marissa K. Edwards - Competition in the Digital Age
This presentation, mainly from a Caribbean perspective, highlights considerations for the Regulator, Industry and Consumer to bear in mind on how they can contribute toward an effective Competition Policy to benefit the society and nation as a whole..
Marissa K. Edwards - Competition in the Digital Age
What’s the Aim of this presentation?
• This presentation aims to convey aspects which may be taken
into consideration when developing Competition Policies.
These aspects are froma Policy perspective which reflect
concepts the Author has accumulated during the Course
“Competition Policy in the Digital Age” by GSMACapacity
Overview of Presentation
• Why is the development of a good Competition Policy important in
a region of duopolies
• Intent of Competition Policy and when it works
• What happens when there is a lack of competition
• Considerations for the Regulator and Four key things to do
• Some concerns by the Operator
• How the Consumer can help to drive competition
• Working together
• Conclusion Points
More specifically, it’s vital because
• It promotes competition
• It makes markets work better
• It contributes towards improved efficiency in
Competition Policy is intended to be
used to remedy market failure in a
• While the regulations put in place enforces
the rules when something actually occurs
• i.e. a case of obvious collusion
Good competition Policy is
• A key element to foster competitiveness, prosperity
and high quality of life
• A tool for creating a competitive market where benefits
would be derived such as:
Competition is working when
• There are numerous sellers and many buyers
in the market
• Good quality products are produced at
acceptable prices or are driven from the
• These products must be efficient and
produced at lowest cost because…….
Only the BEST and MOST EFFICIENT
will survive in the market in the long run
Lack of competition matters when
• Collusion and anticompetitive regulations
restrict the entry of new market players…..
Competition is therefore
It also means fewer choices
Stifling Competition means stifling
Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the
Concern 1 Operator’s Readiness
“We are not ready.” Try to negotiate for time
but…..will the time allotted ever be enough?
Concern 2 Fear of job Loss:
Employee jobs are at risk from
the anticipated competition.
A grave Concern
market is lost
Considerations for the Policy
It is understood that we may already know of
benefits and consequences of competition
as there is a wealth of information available
BUT: What are the repercussions where it
does not exist in this Converged Digital
Eco-system where Digital technologies
are exponentially expanding and
Mergers and acquisitions are
becoming more economically feasible in
order to survive in the market?
Four key things to do
1. Create a Competition
Policy to cover the three
main pillars (EU
Antitrust Policy to promote
Mergers /acquisitions and
control State Aid. Where
the policy already exists,
you may consider amending
it to ensure there are no
Amendment to other regulations could have
an impact on competition i.e. interconnection-
amendment of terms to broaden the services
that are and are subject to regulation e.g.
“voice carrier”, “voice services” may be
amended to “telecommunications carrier”,
Such a trivial amendment could
make a difference?
This means the potential is there to significantly
widen the scope of services and operations from
just voice to telecoms.
This is relevant in today’s Digital Age! Consider
convergence where OTT services carry voice
over a single platform.
2. Keep abreast of
International Best Practices as
this is vital for developing
robust and substantial
In this case the Caribbean falls into REGION 2
3. Bear in mind that while benchmarking is
essential to gain a global perspective, your
Competition Policy should be relevant to the
country and the Region assigned by the ITU and
based on a VALID and RELEVANT Regulatory
Impact Analysis (RIA) on the markets in the
telecoms industry which must be carried out by
persons qualified and with the experience to
Consumers, you are of utmost
You play an important role in the
sustainability of telecoms
markets due to the nexus that
exists between the empowered
consumer and a competitive
A well-informed consumer shapes the market
through his demand signals. These signal
trigger or rather require a response from a
competitive market to meet those signals.
How the consumer can help to drive
The consumer driving
The consumer can thus drive
competition in a market by
demanding lower prices,
demanding a variety of choices
and pushing for innovativeness
in new and improved product
Thus, the more information consumers have and
the less information asymmetries there are in a
market, the more rational consumer choices
Rational decision making can thus result in a
more self-regulated and competitive market.
Consumer Education is vital
The regulator and industry can create tools
which the consumer can use to measure
network and customer experience. i.e.
comparative pricing tool, QoS customer
satisfaction surveys in regulatory
framework which outlines QoS indicators
i.e. a Telecommunications Consumer Rights
(and ideally Obligations) Policy for Quality
Customer education about these frameworks (publicly available
on relevant website for instance), can empower them even
further regarding decision making.
At the end of the day…..
• Fair competition benefits consumers and the
• An effective framework promotes the interest of
the consumer, the producers and the entire nation.
• The effective implementation of a competition
policy leads to the attainment of lower prices,
better quality, more choice and easy access.
Start the conversation between Regulator and
Industry and empower the consumer
On what we all can do to create the right competitve
environment and the right future for your nation.
SO WE ARE BETTER ABLE TO
MANAGE THE SITUATION AND TO
ENABLE CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES TO
TO PUT THINGS IN
WE ARE LIVING IN THE
Look at your industry and visualize how COMPETITION POLICY will
impact your industry because CONVERGENCE is impacting everything
Remember too, that from a competition
perspective, Entrepreneurship is no longer
about just creating a company, it is about
creating change and we must facilitate this
in whatever way we can!