Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense - CADE released a report titled - "BRICS in the Digital Economy: Competition Policy in Practice" during the VI BRICS Competition Conference.
The report offers an overview of competition policies and enforcement, different experiences in the application of antitrust norms in the digital markets of BRICS Countries. The report is an outcome of the BRICS Working Group on the Competition Issues in the Digital Market, led by CADE.
In the commentary to this publication, president of CADE Alexandre Barreto stated that - "We hope that the publication offers useful data not only to the BRICS community but also to the global antitrust community, which deals with challenges of the digital economy in policy enforcement".
Indeed, the VI BRICS Conference has proved to be an excellent platform for cooperation, discussions and promise for progress in the regulation of digital markets. After the release of the report led by CADE, we had a chance to interview President of CADE, Alexandro Barretto. In this interview, we have covered a lot of new and essential issues.
We have asked Mr Barretto to share his opinion about the future of the BRICS cooperation through initiatives such as the joint research platform organised on the platform of HSE and its role in the collaboration between BRICS countries.
Mr Barretto said that he thinks it is indeed a good way of coordinating policies and studies between the BRICS countries. Last year during the St. Petersburg Legal forum in 2018 the BRICS countries decided together to launch and support Competition Law and Policy Research Centre based in Russia - it is an excellent platform to share a lot of objectives, to share and record information, to exchange practices and studies and we already have some practical examples of this coordination that is being made right now in the
Centre. He underlined that Brazil, for instance, is coordinating the research in the digital markets and at the same time, we have a study being made by academics in the BRICS Competition Centre. It is an example of how well the coordination between BRICS works.
We had a chance to see Mr Alexandro Barretto at the Competition conference in Sochi last year and therefore decided to ask about what he thinks have changed since then and how much improvement is there, especially in the area of digital competition, as it is such a new area, potentially requiring a lot of new regulation and research.
President Barretto stated that most competition authorities are facing the challenge of the digital economy around the world. Thinking about this, the authorities decided to bring together, the BRICS Countries together to attack this issue - "we decided to do so two years ago, during the last BRICS Conference in Brazilia. Since then, I can see that we are working more closely, more coordinated to identify the main issues in this area and how to deal with them. Indeed I am completely sure that during these two years we have been working very hard and I believe that we are finding some answers, including in this conference – we will launch two reports on digital economy – one made by the countries' authorities and another made by the BRICS Centre."
He further noticed that we don't know yet if we have to change regulation or not – that is the importance of studies that are happening right now - "I could say that now we have more questions than answers" and according to Alexandro Barretto one thing fascinating about the BRICS countries is that we have common issues and have joint problems, but at the same time we have particularities, so we are different countries and what is important we respect a lot the differences between us.