The COVID-19 pandemic presents a clash of humanitarian and economic goals and costs and the extent of the resultant loss and damage to lives and communities is huge. Competition law and policy will be critical to ensuring that markets remain vibrant both globally and in individual jurisdictions going forward. This session explored questions about the impact of COVID-19 and the approaches taken by regulators in Australia and China in areas such as collaboration between competitors; growth and use of market power; mergers and failing firms; and policy responses of regulators and governments to ensure that competition is protected. COVID-19 also challenges current assumptions about globalisation, government intervention in markets and the appropriate goals of competition law itself.
Professor Deborah Healey led a panel of eminent competition lawyers from Australia and the region to discuss these issues with particular reference to the impacts on China and Australia. She was joined by Adelaide Luke of Herbert Smith Freehills in Hong Kong, Frances Xu of Kewei, Professor Liyang Hou of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Associate Professor Rob Nicholls from UNSW Business.