ISLAMABAD: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has launched a “Competition Assessment of Digital Markets and Digital Services in Pakistan.” The study aims to understand the impact of digital markets and services on competition, economic growth, employment opportunities. It will make policy recommendations to help the government ensure global regulatory harmonization.

At the end of this research study, CCP aims to propose a draft bill on digital markets. Other countries such as Russia, UK, USA, and India have already done so to regulate their markets.

Pakistan’s shift towards digital markets necessitates proactive policies to promote competition. This requires establishing and enforcing clear rules to prevent anti-competitive behaviour by major digital platforms and service providers.

Digitalization has not only created new markets but also transformed existing ones, changing the nature of competition. The study will analyze the opportunities and challenges presented by the digital economy for competition. It aims to suggest pro-competition policies that account for the unique dynamics of these markets.

The emergence of a few powerful platforms, the centrality of data (both personal and organizational), and the use of algorithms have given rise to significant competition concerns. The digital economy has also introduced novel practices that may not fit neatly into existing types of abuse, necessitating a debate about appropriate legal remedies.

Efforts to enhance consumer data portability, adopt open standards, and share data with competitors will benefit consumers and foster competition in Pakistan’s digital ecosystem.