Competition and Innovation - The Role of Innovation in Enforcement Cases



Read the background note

  5 December 2023 & 6 March 2024


While there is long-standing view that competition drives innovation and that innovation, in turn, drives higher welfare and economic growth, there is no theoretical consensus on the precise relationship between these two important components of a market economy.

In June 2023, the OECD held a discussion on such relationship, to understand what we mean by innovation and what types of innovation arise from competition. 

In December 2023 the OECD will hold a second roundtable on the topic to discuss how competition authorities incorporate innovation as part of their assessment in merger review and enforcement investigations. It will focus on understanding how competition authorities incorporate innovation as part of their assessment in enforcement investigations. For instance, how they evaluate innovation in their considerations when defining and examining markets, when analysing the effects of conduct and transactions on firms’ incentives and ability to innovate, if they consider only product innovation or also assess process innovation, if innovation is understood within the context of product competition or if authorities have considered competition in innovation, if there are specific innovation theories of harm or if innovation is only considered as part of a standard analysis and if it can be used as a justification for anti-competitive behaviour.

In particular, the roundtable will explore different ways in which innovation has been relevant in a competitive assessment, including scenarios where competition authorities have had an incentives-based approach, considering how competition impacts innovation; an impact-based approach, relying on an assumption that innovation also drives competition; or have considered a potentially inverse relationship between the two variables, understanding increases in innovation as a justification for a decrease in competition. This latter in the framework of innovation as a countervailing factor for market power or as an efficiency claim.

The findings of these two discussions will be presented to the public at large during the 2024 edition of our OECD Competition Open Day on 6 March 2024.

This page contains information on the sessions held and all related materials.

See the full list of best practice roundtables on competition.


Camila Cabral Pires Alves Bio 
Associate Professor, Institute of Economics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

Simonetta Vezzoso Bio  
Associate Professor, Economics Department, University of Trento

Douglas Melamed Bio  
Professor, Stanford Law School


OECD Background Note | Note de référence


Contributions from participating delegations


Chinese Taipei










United States


Summaries of Contributions

Defining and Measuring Innovation for Competition Enforcement (2023) Link to an external site iconBlog by Aura Garcia Pabón

Merger review in emerging high innovation markets (2002)

Competition, Patents and Innovation I (2006)

Competition, Patents and Innovation II (2009)

Competition and disruptive innovation in financial markets (2015)

Disruptive innovations and competition law enforcement (2015)

Disruptive innovations and their effect on competition (2015)

Disruptive innovations in legal services (2016)

Competition and innovation in land transport (2016)

Radical Innovation in the Electricity Sector (2017)

See also

OECD best practice roundtables on competition

More OECD work on competition


In June 2023, the OECD held a discussion on the relationship between competition and innovation to understand what we mean by innovation and what types of innovation arise from competition. Participants had the opportunity to learn about the key drivers of innovation, the role of competition policy in generating incentives to innovate or spreading innovation across industries. As there are many other factors that drive innovation, such as the role of financing agents, geographical considerations and network effects among others, the discussion was a first opportunity to explore how these factors interact with competition and what effects they have on competitive dynamics in those markets.


Philippe Aghion Bio 
Professor at the College de France and at the London School of Economics

Chiara Criscuolo Bio  
Head of Division Productivity Innovation and Entrepreneurship Division, Science Technology and Innovation Directorate, OECD

Wolfgang Kerber Bio  
Professor of Economic Policy, Marburg University

Álvaro Parra Bio  
Assistant Professor, UBC Sauder School of Business

Carl Shapiro Bio  
Professor, University of California, Berkeley

Eva Sørensen Bio  
Professor at Roskilde University



OECD Background Note | Note de référence de l'OCDE

Detailed summary of the discussion

Executive summary with key findings

Note by Wolfgang Kerber 


Contributions from participating delegations



France EN | FR 





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