Ecoantitrust for Better Competition Policy: Gardeners vs Mechanics

Ecoantitrust for Better Competition Policy: Gardeners vs Mechanics

On June 30, Alexey Ivanov, Director of the International BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre, and Daria Kotova, an expert at the Centre, along with their colleagues from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) delivered a report on ecoantitrust at the 18th ASCOLA International Conference, which took place from June 29 to July 1 in Athens. Their report was entitled "The Ecological Approach to Digital Ecosystems and Competition Development: Gardeners vs. Mechanics."

The panel on Goals of Competition Law included a number of presentations that deal with the protection of competition in digital markets, the relevance of the consumer welfare standard used by regulators, the influence of ordoliberal concepts in EU competition policy, etc.

The concept of ecoantitrust is designed to adapt antitrust regulation to the conditions of global digitalization. The ecoantitrust is built on the analogy of digital and natural ecosystems. The natural approach to regulation can be used in the same way that technology companies use ideas from ecology and biology to organize business processes. In the logic of ecoantitrust, antitrust regulators are "gardeners," working with ecosystems as wildlife and correcting their development. BRICS regulators can play a leading role in promoting ecoantitrust regulation worldwide.

The BRICS Centre has been working on the ecoantitrust project since 2021 together with the Vienna-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). The ecoantitrust project was first presented in November 2021 at the BRICS Competition Conference in China.

Panel Chair: 

  • Mihalis Marinos (Democritus University Thrace Law School)


  • Stavros Makris (University of Glasgow), “The Effective Competitive Constraint Standard”;
  • Selcukhan Unekbas (European University Institute), “Protecting Less Efficient Competitors”;
  • Anselm Küsters (Centre for European Policy and MPI for Legal History & Legal Theory), “The Making and Unmaking of Ordoliberal Language: A Digital Conceptual History of European Competition Law”;
  • Alexey Ivanov (BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre), Daria Kotova (BRICS Centre), Elena Rovenskaya (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)) and Gergely Boza (IIASA), “Ecological Thinking on Digital Ecosystems for Better Competition Policy: Gardeners vs Mechanics.” 

The annual conference is held under the aegis of one of the leading international organizations in the field of antitrust law ASCOLA - Academic Society for Competition Law. The organization was founded in Munich at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, in 2003. ASCOLA unites several hundred researchers and scholars from all continents who focus on antitrust law, economics and policy.

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