TFTC Releases White Paper on Digital Platforms Market – Commentary

On March 2, 2022, the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) released its first draft White Paper on Competition Policy in the Digital Economy for public comment.

On June 30, 2021, the TFTC appointed a special task force to investigate digital platform markets. Following the TFTC’s April 2021 investigation into the subject of negotiation in the news media, the objective of the task force is to monitor the measures taken internationally by the respective competition authorities against Google, Facebook and other digital platforms (for more details, please see “Taiwan to introduce legislation to curb big tech”).

The draft white paper explores the following competition issues:

  • difficulties in adapting conventional approaches to defining relevant markets and assessing market power in the digital economy;
  • business practices conducted by platform operators, including self-preference, tied selling, predatory pricing or illegal inducements with low prices, price discrimination, most favored nation clauses , resale price maintenance and restrictions on online sales;
  • the interface between data privacy and market competition, the conduct of media negotiations, lethal acquisitions, and false and misleading online advertising; and
  • the legality of collusion facilitated by algorithms under the Fair Trade Act.

The TFTC also plans to hold focus group interviews with interested parties and relevant regulatory bodies, such as the National Communications Commission and the soon-to-be-established Ministry of Digital Development for the completion of the final draft before that it is published again for public consultation. The TFTC did not disclose a possible timeline for the final completion of the official white paper.

For more information on this, please contact Arthur Shay at Shay & Partners by phone (+886 2 8773 3600) or email ([email protected]). The Shay & Partners website can be accessed at www.elitelaw.com.

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