Following the release of the draft on March 2, 2022 for public consultation, after collecting and considering all parties' comments as well as holding multiple meetings to review, the TFTC finalized and released its "White Paper on Competition Policy in the Digital Economy" on December 20, 2022.
According to the TFTC, the "White Paper on Competition Policy in the Digital Economy" summarizes 14 competition issues in the digital economy and provides its position and guiding principles of enforcement for enterprises' reference. These issues include challenges to conventional market definition and assessment and analysis of market power, self-preferencing of platforms, tie-in sales, predatory pricing ／ inducement with low price, price discrimination, most favored nation clauses (MFNs), resale price maintenance (RPM), restrictions on online sales, data privacy and market competition, revenue sharing with news media, killer acquisition, algorithm, and false online advertising.
The TFTC indicated that the White Paper also provides suggestions of possible regulatory amendments, such as to review the guidelines of market definition so as to adapt to the market features of digital economy, to revise guidelines of online advertising so as to incorporate new advertising issues emerged from advertorial marketing by internet celebrities, and to study whether to include and regulate both the collusions between horizontal enterprises and upstream／downstream enterprises as concerted actions under Article 14 of the Taiwan Fair Trade Act. Moreover, in the future, the TFTC will progressively introduce information technology in the course of case analysis and improve its technological enforcement capability by employing digital tools. After accumulating considerable enforcement experience, the TFTC may further promulgate guidelines on competition issues concerning digital economy.
The TFTC also emphasizes that this White Paper is one of the few reports internationally that comprehensively and holistically study competition issues arising from digital economy and proposes corresponding enforcement position and policies. To make the contents thereof more relevant and close to the public, in addition to the full version of the White Paper, the TFTC simultaneously released the summary, slides, and plain language introduction of the White Paper for the public's reference, and some dissemination sessions will be followed.
From the release of draft of the White Paper to the completion of the final version, the TFTC has convened multiple internal meetings for discussion and held several external meetings inviting governmental entities, experts and scholars, industrial representatives, research institutions and professionals for their comments. By considering all parties' comments, the TFTC hopes to make the contents of the White Paper more integrated and well-rounded. Considering that digital economy involves wide range of issues which are still under development, and viewpoints thereof remain divergent internationally, the White Paper only presents current enforcement directions and positions, and relevant contents will be adjusted on a rolling basis based on the observation on development of domestic and international environments.