Project Title

Policies and Tools for Improving Digital Economy and Competition in Digital Markets: Current Issues 

Project Year

2022   

Project Number

DESG 03 2022A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

DESG 03 2022A 

Project Title

Policies and Tools for Improving Digital Economy and Competition in Digital Markets: Current Issues 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: General Fund 

Project Year

2022 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

4,650 

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

4,650 

Sponsoring Forum

Digital Economy Steering Group (DESG) 

Topics

Digital Economy 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

Competition Policy and Law Group (CPLG) 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Mexico 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Chile; Malaysia; Chinese Taipei 

Expected Start Date

01/03/2023 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2023 

Project Proponent Name 1

Desiree Delgado Arcos 

Job Title 1

Director of Market Analysis 

Organization 1

Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) / Federal economic Competition Commission (COFECE), Mexico 

Postal Address 1

Not Applicable 

Telephone 1

(52-55) 50154344 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

asuntosinternacionales@ift.org.mx; desiree.delgado@ift.org.mx; international@cofece.mx 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Desiree Delgado Arcos 

Project Summary

The project aims to increase and strengthen APEC’s participants knowledge of regulatory approaches and antitrust enforcement in specific areas of digital markets, to improve consumer protection, online safety and cooperation between competition and regulatory authorities, to boost competition in the digital markets and to harness the benefits of digital services, which can improve the economic and social well-being.

Capacity building, mainly for developing economies, will be delivered through 3 Virtual Sessions, led by recognized experts and APEC members. Several tools and approaches, such as market studies, antitrust enforcement, ex ante regulation and regulations on personal data treatment, consumer safeguards and online safety, which are already being tested in some APEC and non-APEC economies, will be analyzed during them.

As a result, this will provide the basis to draft a Project Report with recommendations to help economies to improve their competition and regulatory policies for digital markets, through some case studies (from the tools and approaches listed above) on consumer protection (privacy and safeguards), online safety (content moderation), and on the coordination between competition and regulatory authorities when assessing digital markets.

Relevance

Issues: Digitalization has changed the dynamics of markets and the relationship between economic agents, including governments. Digital platforms bring together individuals or firms that seek information, entertainment, transactions and social interaction as buyers, sellers, software producers and users, ancillary service providers and so on, so they could participate in multiple markets holding different roles. Some digital market participants can play a dual role of being simultaneously operators for the platform and sellers of their own products and services in competition with other rival sellers. Furthermore, digital platforms have the ability to bundle a range of digital services into a seamless data-driven offer that enables them to expand into adjacent markets. Also, as a number of reports and policy papers from several jurisdictions have pointed out that, in digital markets, the presence of economies of scale, indirect network effects, economies of scope (due the role of data as a relevant input), and conglomerate effects, along with consumers’ behaviors and single-homing tendencies, could represent barriers to entry that potentially could make them highly concentrated, prone to tipping, and not easily contestable in certain jurisdictions (Colangelo, 2020[1]); which in turn could lead to some firms having the ability and incentives to pose risks to consumers’ welfare (or to jeopardize the adequate protection of their rights’, e.g. privacy and others), and impacting markets’ contestability, performance, and innovation.

In dealing with these issues, economies could benefit from understanding regulation approaches as well as antitrust enforcement. Since, on the one hand, interventions that promote competition can empower consumers, reduce incentives to single-homing, and foster innovation; and, on the other, regulations can give consumers more confidence to engage with new entrants by effectively enforcing safeguards and protections, and could even promote innovation. Hence, authorities in the APEC region have been recently discussing what mix of competition and regulations and what statutory legal adjustments, if any, are needed to tackle concerns regarding consumer protection (safeguards and privacy) and online safety (content moderation). In particular, the following concerns will be addressed: \

1) how coordinated activities from regulatory and competition authorities can enhance the effectiveness of consumers’ protection when a digital market participant (one or several) extensively use data collection capabilities to impede market contestability or innovation;

2)  how to enhance online safety by promoting the common knowledge and collaboration between authorities, competition and regulatory, to adequately understand and address the impacts arising from business models and new technologies, and how policies from either authority, or both, could promote or impede competition and online safety, and

3) how collaboration between competition and regulatory authorities (with statutory duties on privacy, cybersecurity, and consumer protection, among others) can improve their assessment and decision making to address actual harms or potential risks for consumers’ and competition dynamics, from the collection, use and analysis of user’s data.

In this regard, this project aims to benefit APEC member economies by building a regional understanding of common concerns and making the cross-border digital interface among member economies work smoothly.

Eligibility and Fund Priorities: This project fits the eligibility criteria of the General Fund of the APEC Support Fund (ASF) since it complies with the following priorities in the Manila Framework for Strengthening Economic Cooperation and Development: Develop Human Capital; Strengthen Economic Infrastructure; and Harness Technologies for the Future. The project provides capacity building for developing economies in the APEC region; it tackles competition and regulatory policy issues that have an impact in the digital economy; and it timely addresses the effects of the digital transformation in the markets, the increasing demand of digital services, and the use of ICT, platforms, and applications in productive and social activities; all of them accelerated by Covid-19.

Capacity Building: The Virtual Sessions will enable APEC member economies to increase, strengthen and share knowledge in specific areas of digital markets (consumer protection -privacy and safeguards-, online safety -content moderation- and on the coordination between competition and regulatory authorities), in order to strengthen competition and regulatory policies approaches, to boost competition and harness the benefits of digital services for APEC members, especially for developing economies to be better equipped to address challenges of digital economy. The Virtual Sessions are designed to provide relevant information on the state-of-the-art regarding specific areas of digital markets, and share the expertise of APEC members on these. In particular, the following concerns will be addressed:

1) how coordinated activities from regulatory and competition authorities can enhance the effectiveness of consumers’ protection when a digital market participant (one or several) extensively use data collection capabilities to impede market contestability or innovation;

2)   how to enhance online safety by promoting the common knowledge and collaboration between authorities, competition and regulatory, to adequately understand and address the impacts arising from business models and new technologies, and how policies from either authority could promote or impede competition and online safety, and

3)  how collaboration between competition and regulatory authorities (with statutory duties on privacy, cybersecurity, and consumer protection, among others) can improve their assessment and decision making to address actual harms or potential risks for consumers’ and competition dynamics, from the collection, use and analysis of user’s data.

First, keynote speakers will address specific concerns on each topic that regulatory and competition authorities would be interested to consider, to strengthen competition and regulatory policies approaches, this will provide a common understanding background for APEC members on relevant issues to be considered. Second, APEC member economies will share their expertise or case studies regarding regulatory and competition enforcement that have implemented regarding each area, this will enable information sharing between economies regarding experiences and practices applied in the region. In general, through the Virtual Sessions, participants from the APEC member economies will gain a deeper understanding and specific knowledge on specific areas of digital markets, and also through APEC and non-APEC case studies’ they will gain better understanding on the regulations (actual or potential) and competition policy approaches that have been implemented in the region or other economies, as well as how collaboration between regulators and competition authorities have been implemented or is expected to be conducted.

Additionally, the Project Report will include (i) relevant information regarding each of the topics addressed in the Virtual Sessions; (ii) a summary on the key points discussed in the Virtual Sessions, (iii) a review on the case studies presented during the Sessions, and (iv) recommendations that would be relevant to strengthen regulatory and competition policy approaches in the APEC region.

Hence, this project complies with the Policy on APEC´s Capacity Building through Economic and Technical Cooperation as follows:

1) Goals: it would provide knowledge and information on each of the areas of digital economy, as well as cases implemented in the APEC region and non-APEC economies, in order to foster consumer protection, online safety, and cooperation between regulatory and competition authorities in the assessment of digital markets and recommendations for APEC economies to harness the benefits of digital services, which can improve the economic and social well-being.

2) Objectives: it will build capacity in APEC economies on competition policy and regulation, to achieve long-term goals.

3) Operational Principles: it is long-term; with internal and regional replicability; it shows consistency and innovation, by exploring aspects that are not yet covered by DESG projects, building upon projects developed by other APEC fora, specially the CPLG; it is results-based; and it will provide a collaborative approach.

Furthermore, this project is also relevant for APEC priorities for 2022 set by Thailand: “Open to all Opportunities” which establishes that to revitalize recovery, APEC must leverage its traditional strengths by facilitating open trade and investment, improving the business environment, and advancing regional economic integration, leveraging digitalization and innovation.


[1] G. Colangelo (2020). Evaluating the Case for Regulation of Digital Platforms. Available: https://gaidigitalreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Colangelo-Evaluating-the-Case-for-Regulation-of-Digital-Platforms.pdf.

Objectives

This project aims to:

Provide capacity building by obtaining, strengthening, and developing APEC’s participants knowledge on regulatory and competition policy approaches implemented in APEC economies and other jurisdictions, in specific areas of digital markets (consumer protection, online safety and coordination between competition and regulatory authorities), in order to promote growth and development.

Alignment

Alignment to APEC: This project will promote the following provisions stated in APEC relevant documents as follows:

1) 2022-2025 Terms of Reference of the Digital Economy Steering Group (DESG): The project is consistent with and contributes to the fulfillment of DESG functions, specifically: a) Act as a steering group that will identify synergies and cross-cutting objectives for APEC’s digital economy activities as they emerge from either the DESG or relevant for a or sub-fora and explore the implementation of joint initiatives; h) Propose and undertake, inter alia, cross-APEC work on digital economy issues and identify potential initiatives to address these issues, placing focus on cross-cutting aspects and beyond the DESG’s agreed work program, while deferring specific matters and implementation to the relevant fora and sub-fora; by providing a virtual space to gather DESG, CPLG and TEL members to discuss cross-cutting issues.

2) 2022 CPLG Work Plan: The project falls into theme: “ii. Digital Transformation and Transformation and Trade Competition”, by building capacity for competition authorities on competition policy issues and competition assessment in the context of technological advancement and enhancing competition regulations and law enforcement in the digital economy.

3) The Project was designed observing these three main guiding APEC documents, by addressing current issues and challenges in the context of the digital transformation, digitalization and technological innovation in the digital economy:

a) 2021 Enhanced APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (EAASR): Pillar 4: Harnessing innovation, new technology, and skills development to boost productivity and digitalization.

b) 2020 APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040: Economic driver: Innovation and digitalization

c) 2021 Aotearoa Plan of Action: Objective: To empower all our people and businesses to participate and grow in an interconnected global economy, we will foster an enabling environment that is, among others, market-driven and supported by digital economy and innovation; Individual Actions: Economies will strengthen efforts to foster an enabling environment, including by promoting regulatory and non-regulatory approaches that are coherent, interoperable, non-discriminatory, and that foster competition as well as promote innovation; Collective Actions: Economies will: Share best practice, and promote approaches for a digital economy that fosters competition and promotes innovation; Address challenges and barriers to achieving an enabling, inclusive, open, fair and non-discriminatory digital and innovation environment.

d) 2017 APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap (AIDER): the Project directly impacts the following focus areas of the AIDER by fostering institutional collaboration of public the public entities involved in the development of the digital economy: 4. Development of holistic government policy frameworks for the Internet and Digital Economy; 5. Promoting coherence and cooperation of regulatory approaches affecting the Internet and Digital Economy.

4) 2020 DESG Work Program for the Implementation of the AIDER: Consequently and more specifically the Project will contribute to these Priority areas of the Work Program by sharing experiences and knowledge aimed at strengthening the benefits of collaboration and coherent regulatory and competition approaches in digital markets: (AIDER’s focus area 4) a. Digital initiatives or strategies that involve Whole-of Government, the multi stakeholders, and/or by government agencies that do not typically work with each other; (AIDER’s focus area 5) c. Promote international regulatory coherence for new business models; and d. Promote stronger cross-border cooperation and sharing of best practices efforts on online consumer protection; (AIDER’s focus area 6) a. Share information, policies and initiatives to promote greater adoption of emerging technologies by businesses, individuals, governments and society to embrace digital transformation; and i. Exchange best practice approaches to regulatory cooperation which supports the Digital Economy, including regulatory sandboxes.

Alignment to Forum: This project aligns with the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI)’s objective to develop initiatives to improve the flow of services and technology, to consult on issues of importance on that context and develop consensus to expand and strengthen these flows within the region and globally, and to reduce and remove distortions which impede these flows.

It is also aligned with the Aotearoa Action Plan, in terms of collective actions related to sharing best practices and promoting approaches for a digital economy that fosters competition and promotes innovation. It aligns with 2022 DESG Work Program, which states that it will organize its work in accordance with the Putrajaya Vision 2040 and its implementation plan, as well as the overarching APEC 2022 theme “Open, Connect, Balance”.

It aligns with pillar 1 of the EAASR: Creating an enabling environment for open, transparent, and competitive markets, as means of sustaining structural reform efforts of the Economic Committee (EC). It aligns with CPLG objectives to identify areas for technical cooperation and capacity building, to promote exchanges and cooperation among competition agencies, and to monitor emerging issues. Furthermore, some of the activities mentioned in the 2022 CPLG Workplan establish to “identifying emerging competition issues in the Digital Economy, which may lead to amendments or adjustments of competition laws and regulations” and to enhance “international cooperation between member economies to improve capacity to deal with competition concerns in the digital economy”. Moreover, the 2022 CPLG Workplan indicates that “one of the common goals and achievements of the trade competition legal framework of every member economy is to ‘create an enabling environment for open, transparent, and competitive markets’, not only in the physical market, but also in the digital and online market.” Therefore, the project will contribute to this objective by “facilitating cooperation and discussion among CPLG members to seek the possibility for harmonization of competition laws and policies among member economies” as mentioned in the Workplan.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: 

1) Virtual Sessions: The Virtual Sessions will bring together experts from APEC economies, that will discuss and exchange points of view about issues, challenges and relevant practices on how to address or they have addressed, or are expecting to address, current issues on specific areas of digital markets. Virtual Session will last in total 7.5-hours, divided in three days (see a tentative structure of the agenda below), for the project “Policies and tools for improving digital economy and competition in digital markets: current issues”. Per session, the agenda includes presentations from 2 keynote speakers, the discussion with 2-3 speakers and a moderator from the APEC economies, on the following areas: consumer protection, online safety and cooperation between regulatory and competition authorities) of digital markets.

Participation is considered to be relevant to all APEC economies, hence they are welcome to join to all sessions or select their preferred ones. Invited experts and panelists will address best practices and recommendations for APEC members as this will provide participants with substantive content to effect changes in their economies, this will be stressed by the PO. In order to ensure that all APEC’s participants can benefit the most from Virtual Sessions, a one-page brief will be circulated, among participants prior the Virtual Sessions’, along with the General Information Circular. The brief will include general information on the topics and issues that will be discussed on each one of the virtual sessions; and a list of potential stakeholders (authorities in charge of the specific areas of regulatory policies, as well as competition authorities) whom we consider would benefit the most from the each of the virtual sessions, nonetheless participation per economy will not be limited. To monitor and evaluate the experience of the participants to each virtual session, a Post-Event Survey will be circulated within a week of each session.

Sessions will be recorded for notetaking purposes only, to support the drafting of the Project Report.

In particular, the following will be covered in each session:

a) Session 1: Intersection between Consumer Protection in Digital Markets and Competition Enforcement. Points that will be covered by the key note speakers: (i) the need and importance of enhancing consumer protection in the digital economy; (ii) challenges faced by authorities for enhancing consumer protection, are competition issues closely linked to consumer protection?; (iii) whether market participants with significant market power in one or several digital markets can impede effective consumer protection, and if asymmetries between market participants (providers of digital services), e.g. in data gathering and analysis, shall be considered in the design of policies to enhance the effectiveness of consumer protection; (iii) how does collaboration between regulatory (e.g. authorities from data protection, privacy, consumer protection, among others) and competition authorities can enhance the effectiveness from regulations and competition policy (case studies from international experience). Points that will be covered in the discussion by APEC members: (i) competition enforcement cases and/or regulatory policies that have been implemented in digital markets and/or digital providers to enhance consumer protection or where consumer protection has been considered; (ii) cases, if any, where economies have implemented regulations or competition enforcement tools to one or several digital market participants when there has been evidence that they have extensively use data collection capabilities to impede market contestability or innovation (if any); and (iii) cases where coordination between competition and regulatory authorities has taken place, how does it works, or how it is expected to work (in the last case, challenges faced by authorities), does collaboration can promote: reduction on institutional costs from duplicative efforts, unmatching regulations, achieve an economy-wide coherent, institutional, budgetary and resources-efficient policy and enforcement approaches to enhance consumer protection.

b) Session 2: Online safety, regulatory and competition issues. Points that will be covered by the keynote speakers: (i) from a competition and regulatory perspectives: how business models and new technologies have changed online safety incentives of digital market players (e.g., subscription vs advertising financed, digital ecosystems, digital advertising, among others) in particular for content moderation; (ii) does significant market participants pose higher threats to online safety, do they require certain specific obligations? Or not?; (ii) which have been some of the regulatory and competition policy approaches and tools that have been implemented by competition and regulatory authorities (e.g. studies on online harms, new regulations, competition enforcement, for example on: privacy, cybersecurity, consumer protection and awareness, audience rights and content safety, among others) in order to address online safety; and (iii) relevance of promoting and enforcing online safety from collaborative efforts from competition and regulatory authorities (e.g. with statutory duties on: privacy, cybersecurity, consumer protection, audience rights and content safety, among others). Topics that will be covered by APEC members: (i) how to enhance online safety by promoting the common knowledge between different authorities to adequately understand and address the actual or potential negative impacts arising from business models and new technologies; (ii) how coordination could (or has) promote(d) or impede competition and online safety, in particular how to achieve coherent, informed and responsive regulation and competition enforcement that contributes to online safety.

c) Session 3. Collaboration between competition and regulatory authorities to tackle harms and risks from data collection and analysis. Points that will be covered by key note speakers: (i) which are the main concerns for competition policy and regulations from massive data collection and analysis from digital market participants, in particular from those able to participate in several markets and play several roles; (ii) examples of how authorities competition and regulatory have addressed these concerns; (iii) international cases where competition and regulatory authorities have collaborated to address concerns on data collection from specific digital participants, cases where competition and regulatory policy approaches have collide in detriment of their effectiveness. Points that will be covered by APEC members: (i) how collaboration between competition and regulatory authorities (with statutory duties on privacy, cybersecurity, consumer protection, and competition) has improved the assessment and decision making to address actual harms or potential risks for consumers’ and competition dynamics, from the collection, use and analysis of user’s data by one or several digital participants; (ii) are there any initiatives to change or adjust legal frameworks and statutory duties to tackle concerns from data collection and analysis (or have they already been implemented); and (iii) if coordination between competition and regulatory authorities does occur, does it works better if it is established in laws or are there other coordination mechanisms preferred.

Output 1

Key products/services

Purpose

Duration and location

Scope and scale

Timelines

Virtual Sessions

The Virtual Sessions  will provide a virtual flora for APEC members can increase and strengthen their knowledge of regulatory approaches and antitrust enforcement in specific areas of digital markets.

Duration:

3 weeks (2.5 hours per week)

Location: virtual

(platform)

3 virtual sessions.

One virtual per week, in three consecutive weeks.

Also, in each session, 2 virtual keynotes per week.

Virtual Sessions are expected to be held during August and/or September, or between, 2023.

(Further information on the schedules see Workplan table below.)

Tentative structure of the Agenda of the Virtual Sessions

Day

Duration

Item

1

2 min

Opening remarks

30 min

Keynote by International Expert, topic 1

10 min

Q&A

30 min

Keynote by International Expert, topic 1

10 min

Q&A

3 min

Break

50 min

Session I

·        Moderator

·        Discussion from 2-3 speakers or APEC economies speakers

10 min

Q&A (if any), and closing remarks from Moderator.

5 min

Concluding remarks

2

2 min

Opening

30 min

Keynote by International Expert, topic 2

10 min

Q&A

30 min

Keynote by International Expert, topic 2

10 min

Q&A

3 min

Break

50 min

Session 2

·        Moderator

·        Discussion from 2-3 speakers or APEC economies speakers

10 min

Q&A (if any), and closing remarks from Moderator.

5 min

Concluding remarks

3

2 min

Opening

30 min

Keynote by International Expert, topic 3

10 min

Q&A

30 min

Keynote by International Expert, topic 3

3 min

Break

10 min

Q&A

50 min

Session 3

·        Moderator

·        Discussion from 2-3 speakers or APEC economies speakers

10 min

Q&A (if any), and closing remarks from Moderator.

5 min

Concluding remarks


2) Project Report: The report will compile relevant information and experiences shared during the Virtual Sessions, in particular from the points raised by keynote speakers and the experiences and relevant cases shared by APEC members. Also, from the virtual session, the key points, recommendations and best practices discussed will be included. It will provide insights and at least four recommendations per Virtual Session for APEC economies on the most prominent issues discussed. The information from the Virtual Sessions will be gathered by the Project Overseer, who will take notes from all sessions. Relevant cases and best practices will be decided considering the following: (i) research from academic literature, (ii) key speakers and APEC experts; however, given that some cases are recent, we will also present them if enough information on this is publicly available or if APEC participants agree on its publication in the Project Report.

Output 2

Key products/services

Purpose

Duration and location

Scope and scale

Timelines

Project Report

An electronic report will be developed that includes the relevant points addressed during the Virtual Sessions, recommendations and any complementary information required to help economies improve their knowledge, understanding and challenges to promote competition and regulation policy in digital markets.

3 weeks of drafting (August-September 2023)

2 weeks of consultation with co-sponsors (September 2023); and

2 weeks for final revisions (October 2023) before sending the Project Report to the economies for final comments before its publication.

The Project Report will provide a summary with key points on the main approaches, tools, and information gathered during the Virtual Sessions, either from key speakers and information (cases and experiences)  shared by APEC economies. This Project Report will help APEC economies to improve their public, competition and regulatory policies, to better address the identified challenges. Hence, it will provide approaches, relevant case studies and conclusions and recommendations derived from international experience and especially APEC economies, so it can inform APEC decision-making and policy design regarding digital markets. The Project Report will be longer than 12 pages and no longer than 35 pages.

During 1.5 months (September-October) after the Virtual Sessions.

Draft structure for the Project Report

Session

Pages

Content

-

2

Introduction (Objectives of the Project and General Issues on digital markets and participants)

-

0.5

General key points from Virtual Sessions

1

8

Intersection between Consumer Protection in Digital Markets and Competition Enforcement

- General Topics, literature review: importance of enhancing consumer protection, challenges faced by authorities; aspects that authorities should consider when implementing consumer protection in Digital Markets; how and when does asymmetries between market participants matter the most, does significant market power should be considered when considering regulations and competition enforcement. Also, from the virtual session, the key points, recommendations, and best practices discussed will be included.

- APEC member and non-APEC relevant experiences: regulations and competition enforcement cases that have enhanced or are aimed to enhance consumer protection; cases where asymmetries between market participants have been considered to the implementation of competition enforcement or regulatory policies; cases of coordination between competition and regulatory authorities to address consumer protection.

2

8

Online safety, regulatory and competition issues.

- General Topics, literature review: relevance of promoting and enforcing online safety for competition and regulatory authorities; challenges faced by authorities given business models and new technologies in the promotion and enforcement of online safety; main concerns that authorities shall consider. Also, from the virtual session, the key points, recommendations, and best practices discussed will be included.

- APEC member and non-APEC relevant experiences: how collaboration between different authorities can enhance understanding can help to address the actual or potential negative impacts arising from business models and new technologies regulations on online safety; cases where regulations or competition enforcement from authorities have impede competition or online safety.

3

8

Collaboration between competition and regulatory authorities to tackle harms and risks from data collection and analysis

- General Topics, literature review and relevant cases: the main concerns for competition policy and regulations from massive data collection and analysis from digital market participants; examples from other jurisdictions that have addressed competition and regulatory concerns; how can competition and regulatory policies can support each other. Also, from the virtual session, the key points, recommendations, and best practices discussed will be included.

- APEC member and non-APEC relevant experiences: how collaboration between competition and regulatory authorities has improved the assessment and decision making to address actual harms or potential risks for consumers’ and competition dynamics, from the collection, use and analysis of user’s data; initiatives to change or adjust legal frameworks and statutory duties to tackle concerns from data collection and analysis (or have they already been implemented); and examples on the implementation of coordination between competition and regulatory authorities.

-

3

Recommendations (at least 4 per virtual session) and main conclusions

-

XX

Bibliography


Outcomes: 

Following the projects’ objective, the Project will deliver these outcomes:

1)  To support members and participants to increase their knowledge on the understanding of regulatory and competition policy approaches implemented in APEC economies and other jurisdictions, in the following areas of digital markets:

a)   consumer protection;

b)   online safety; and

c)  enhancing coordination and cooperation among competition and regulatory authorities to favor the effectiveness and soundness of regulations and competition enforcement.

by delivering useful recommendations applicable in APEC economies to strengthen regulatory and competition policy approaches in the APEC region to tackle and address concurrent digital challenges, following up on previous work conducted in the DESG and the CPLG. A post-workshop survey will be circulated to measure these outcomes and will be reported on as part of APEC’s Completion Report requirements.

Beneficiaries: The Primary Beneficiaries will be the participants to the Virtual Sessions, for example, officials from competition and  regulatory authorities, according to their expertise, who attend to each virtual session. Mainly, officials from the following authorities will be benefited: competition and consumer protection agencies, online safety, data protection and privacy agencies, cybersecurity, telecommunications and audiovisual content and audience rights agencies. Nonetheless, the invitation to the Virtual Sessions will be circulated among the DESG, CPLG and TELWG so we expect that officials from other authorities would also be interested.

As, Secondary Beneficiaries we expect a larger audience among APEC economies, for example  policymakers and officials from other authorities, who are not directly responsible for the topics, but for whom relevant information might be provided to better understand the relevant issues discussed in each virtual session. With the groups of Non-Member stakeholders, our team commits to adhering to APEC’s Guidelines on Managing Cooperation with Non-Members in the implementation of this Project. We are aware that the participation of each non-member is subject to endorsement and approval by the DESG and we will comply with all required submissions and requests for information accordingly.

Dissemination

As a project result, an (1) electronic Project Report will be developed, which could be consulted in APEC’s Publications Database. The target audience of this report will be policymakers and officers from competition agencies (particularly from new authorities), ministries, and sectoral regulators within APEC; academia; and the private sector. 

The project will also disseminate, separately, to DESG, CPLG and TEL contact lists, the speaker/expert presentations (with previous authorization from them). If there is sensitive information, the speaker/expert would decide which information could be shared with the participants.

Gender

The PO will promote equal opportunity for both men and women to participate in the project. In this regard, at the planning stage of the Virtual Sessions, the PO will prioritize sending formal invitations to female experts to share their knowledge and experience in the series of Virtual Sessions in order to achieve a gender-balanced program. The administrative circular will highlight the importance of considering women's equal participation and will also encourage women experts’ nomination to participate in the Virtual Sessions.

This project will strive to provide a space that helps women broaden their knowledge of competition and regulatory policy issues through the experiences that experts and APEC economies will provide. This project will help to understand how economies are addressing current problems in digital markets, allowing them to identify possible initiatives, projects, regulations, and policies that could be useful within their economies.

Targets

Female Participants (%)

40%

Female Speakers/Experts (%)

35%

Referring to the Guide on Gender Criteria for APEC Project Proposals in the Guidebook on APEC Projects, please tick the pillar or pillars that this project supports, in promoting women’s economic empowerment:

5 Pillars (you may tick more than one)

1

Access to Capital and Assets

2

Access to Markets

3

Skills, Capacity Building, and Health

X

4

Leadership, Voice and Agency

5

Innovation and Technology

X


Work Plan

Timeline

Tasks

Deliverables

Mar 2023

Drafting of the General Information Circular (GIC).

Drafting of the Virtual sessions agenda

Drafting one-page brief for each virtual session.

General Information Circular (GIC).

Agenda

Briefs for Virtual Sessions.

Apr 2023

Issuing GIC, Agenda and Briefs.

Issuing GIC, Agenda and Briefs.

Apr 2023

Preparation of Non-Member APEC keynote speakers list and APEC members panellist list.

Non-Member APEC keynote speakers list for DESG approval.

May 2023

Issuing of formal invitations.

Formal invitations for APEC Members and Non-Members.

Jun 2023

Logistic arrangements: zoom/webex meetings.

Prepare and create post-session surveys for each virtual session.

Leasing of zoom/webex meeting virtual spaces.

Post-session surveys for each virtual Sessions.

Mar – Jun 2023

First draft of the Project Report (collecting specific information on background and relevant cases for each virtual session).

First general draft of the Project Report.

Jul 2023

Submission for DESG approval a list of Non-Member APEC keynote speakers.

List of Non-Member APEC keynote speakers

Aug and Sep 2023

Conducting the virtual sessions, one per week.

Sessions will be recorded for notetaking purposes only to support the drafting of the Project Report.

Virtual Sessions.

1 week after each virtual session

Circulation to participants of post-session surveys, per Virtual Sessions (3 in total), within one week after each session.

Post-session surveys, per Virtual Sessions

Jul – Sep 2023

Drafting of the Project Report by the PO and internal reviewing by Mexico (institutions involved in the project, COFECE-IFT).

Draft of Project Report.

Sep 2023

Call for comments and inputs by co-sponsors.

Include them in the Draft Project Report.

Draft Project Report including comments and inputs by co-sponsors.

End Sep 2023

Submission of the final Draft of the Project Report to the Secretariat for review, and for circulation to the DESG for comments and endorsement.

Final Draft Project Report.

1 Oct 2023

Submission of the APEC Project Monitoring Report (MR) to the Secretariat.

APEC Project Monitoring Report

Oct 2023

Endorsement of the draft Project Report by the DESG.

Project Report endorsed by the DESG.

End Nov 2023

Publication of the Project Report on the APEC Publications Database (PDB).

Link at the APEC PDB.

Dec 2023

Project Completion.

Feb 2024

Submitting the APEC Project Completion Report and supporting documents to the Secretariat.

APEC Project Completion Report

6 to 12 months after PCD

Participation in the Long-Term Evaluation of APEC Projects (LTEAP) conducted by the Secretariat.



Risks

No.

Risks

How will it be managed?

1

Not complying with the gender indicators presented in the project proposal due to not finding women specialists on a specific subject.

Participation in the event will be subject to gender parity. The invitations will be issued to the most relevant parties, prioritizing women experts to ensure equal participation of women.

2

Having a setback or a delay in times related to the project that does not fall on the Project Overseer.

The PO will attach herself and take all the necessary steps to comply as much as possible with the proposed workplan.

3

Cancellation of panelists, experts' or keynote speakers’ participation at short notice.

Getting solid agreements with panelists and speakers supported by honoraria (where allowed) to ensure their participation.

4

Not achieving the participation of the 21 APEC member economies due to time differences or availability.

The PO will choose a suitable schedule to ensure the participation of most of the APEC economies and disseminate the program directly to relevant institutions in charge of the subject so they can participate in the event.


Monitoring and Evaluation

Evaluation Focus

Indicators

Target Goals

Evaluation Method

Reporting Method

Outcomes

Outcome 1: To support members and participants to increase their knowledge and understanding on consumer protection

1.      % of participants indicate substantial knowledge increase

70%

Post-session survey

Completion Report

Outcome 2: To support members and participants to increase their knowledge and understanding on online safety

2.      % of participants indicate substantial knowledge increase

70%

Post-session survey

Completion Report

Outcome 3: To support members and participants to increase their knowledge and understanding on enhancing coordination and cooperation among competition and regulatory authorities to favour the effectiveness and soundness of regulations and competition enforcement

3.      % of participants indicate substantial knowledge increase

70%

Post-session survey

Completion Report

Outputs

Output 1: Virtual Sessions

1.      No. of participants (excl. speakers/experts):

- 21 economies (estimated 2 per economy)

42

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

2.      Percentage of participating men/women (excl. speakers/experts)

60/40

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

3.      Number of speakers/experts engaged

6

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

4.      Percentage of speakers/experts (men/women)

65/35

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

5.      Number of attending economies (expected)

21

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

6.      Number of responses to the quality control, multiple-choice, one-minute survey to participants.

- 21 economies (expected)

75%

Post-session surveys

Completion Report

7.      Percentage of participants who indicated that they obtained or strengthened their knowledge regarding competition and regulatory policies and approaches on the topics on each of the virtual sessions.

75%

Post-session surveys

Completion Report

8.      Percentage of participants who indicated that cases presented were relevant for their economy, present relevant cases for APEC members so they can gain understanding from APEC and non-APEC cases, in each virtual session.

75%

Post-session surveys

Completion Report

9.      Percentage of members who supported that the duration of the sessions was enough to discuss the topics in each virtual session.

75%

Post-session surveys

Completion Report

10.   Percentage of participants who indicated that keynote speakers addressed relevant information in order to obtain and strengthened their knowledge, in each virtual session.

75%

Post-session surveys

Completion Report

11.   Percentage of participants who considered that the topics discussed in each virtual session was relevant for their economies.

75%

Post-session surveys

Completion Report

Output 2: Project Report

1.      Number of pages

12 – 35 pages

Certification by PO

Report emailed to the Secretariat

2.      Number of recommendations

At least 4 per virtual session (12 in total)

Certification by PO

Final Draft of Project Report

3.      Publication in PDB

December 2023

Certification by Secretariat

Publication in APEC PDB


Linkages

This project will engage with the DESG, the EC, the CPLG, and the Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TELWG) through cross-fora collaboration. The virtual keynote series will be open for attendance from economies’ representatives coming from these sub-fora. It will also promote collaboration with stakeholders from the digital ecosystem within and outside APEC. 

This project builds on previous work carried out by Mexico (CPLG 02 2018 -Project by Mexico- “Competition policy for regulating online platforms in the APEC region”) and on projects co-sponsored by Mexico (CPLG 01 2020 -Project by New Zealand- “Competition law and regulation in digital markets” and CPLG 01 2019A -Project by Malaysia- “Public-Private Dialogue - Understanding Digital Market Mechanism and Possible Competition Issues in Digital Economy in APEC Region”) regarding regulation in digital markets. Therefore, this project does not duplicate previous initiatives, as it focuses on emerging competition and regulation policy issues. 

APEC is the best source of funds for this project to give continuity to the work previously carried out by Mexico on the subject within APEC. This project may also interest APEC member economies, mainly for the importance of the regulatory and competition policy for markets, due to the growing demand for digital services and the use of ICT, platforms, and applications accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sustainability

Through the report that will be published on the APEC PDB, the member economies will be able to call back on shared experiences to conduct and implement the knowledge shared at the Virtual Sessions and smoothly consult them later.

Following the Virtual Sessions, participants are expected to have better understanding of the competition and regulatory approaches, policies and initiatives that APEC economies are developing and are implementing to improve and increase digital services within their economies.

Overall, APEC economies will individually be benefited in the medium and long run; the report will serve as a reference for APEC economies to implement policies and regulations, that ultimately will benefit consumers, MSMEs, and many different stakeholders, across the region, improving communication and awareness, so that digital markets can promote economic growth and integration.

Project Overseers

This project is co-organized by the IFT, the regulator and competition authority in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors in Mexico; and the COFECE, the competition authority in all the other sectors of the economy in Mexico. 

The PO’s contact information responsible for this project, follows:

Name:  Desiree Delgado Arcos
Title:  Director of Market Analysis
Organization:  Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT), Mexico.
Tel:  +5255 5015 4344
E-mail: asuntosinternacionales@ift.org.mx; desiree.delgado@ift.org.mx 

An additional point of contact responsible for this project, follows:

Name:  Heidi Sada Correa
Title:  Executive Director of International Affairs
Organization:  Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE), Mexico.
Tel: +5255 2789 6538
E-mail: hsada@cofece.mx; international@cofece.mx

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

 

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
Attachments
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