Competititon enforcement in the digital space: learning from the past and shaping the future

Law & Economics workshop organised by Concurrences Review in partnership with Clifford Chance and RBB Economics.

David Tayar

The digital sector is at the heart of the news and concerns of regulators, companies and their boards. A number of cases concerning this sector are currently under investigation at Community and national level. Most recently, Commissioner Vestager called upon three experts specialised in the analysis of competition problems in the digital sector. In addition, the Competition Authority has recently published a sector report on online advertising which comes a few months after the joint study with the Bundeskartellamt on the data issue. Several questions of principle are raised.

One of the main issues is that of algorithms and their ability to make it possible to form supra-competitive prices in markets that are not necessarily concentrated or oligopolistic, and in the absence of any interaction between competitors or between the algorithms they use. A legal vacuum may exist because the current competition rules only address such price alignments in the presence of some form of collusion between companies.

Photos © Léo-Paul Ridet

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