Implications of the Digital Economy on Merger Control in Pakistan and China: Policy Implications for Pakistan

  •  Yuhui Wang    
  •  Shahzada Aamir Mushtaq    


The rise of the digital economy has challenged the foundation of competition law frameworks the world over. Today, the antitrust doctrine finds itself confronting a new economy; an econo-my wherein data acts as a currency, markets are without prices, market collisions are based on algorithms, and the market is ‘infinite’. Several jurisdictions such as Germany, Austria, and China have developed new regulations or amended existing legislations to confront the chal-lenges presented by the digital economy. A dearth of theoretical and empirical literature has evaluated whether digital markets are so fundamentally different as to require a different set of rules. Of specific interest to this paper is whether current competition rules are sufficient to deal with mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in digital markets. This paper assesses M&A regulations in China and Pakistan in light of the new digital economy. Expert interviews were conducted using semi-structured interviews to investigate the comparisons between Pakistan’s and China’s merger control regimes. The findings indicate that China’s merger control regulations are better adopted for the digital economy than Pakistani’s. It also sets out the policy implications for competition policy makers in Pakistan.

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