COVID-19: Will Competition Law and Policy Revert to the Status Quo?

Global Network

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About this event

The China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre hosted the first panel session of the 2020 CIBEL Global Network Conference. The conference was dedicated to research on the urging issues in the international business and economic law field with the theme of “COVID-19 and international economic law: China and a changing world”.

The topic of this session was “COVID-19: Will competition law and policy revert to the status quo?” and was led by the Co-Director of CIBEL Professor Deborah Healey. This 90-minute online session was live-streamed and open to registered audiences. The session was made up of presentations and Q&As. Audiences were able to ask questions.


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 will explore 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.