Dinner in honor of Bruno Lasserre: Market power and digital economy

Dinner organized by Concurrences Review in partnership with Cleary Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton and Charles River Associates.


Laurent Flochel - The digital economy is characterized by the linking of individuals or suppliers and buyers through social networks or platforms. Some of these services are free or falsely free, the costs being recovered by another means, notably through the monetization of data. This makes it possible to offer services that are as close as possible to the needs of consumers (first degree discrimination). This raises many competition issues, in particular because, due to network externalities, the number of market players is limited. However, some of these issues are far from new. For example, should we regulate and, if so, how? When should we intervene?

Antoine Winckler - The digital economy is a subject at the heart of competition in Europe. In recent years, general investigations and specific cases of intervention by regulators have multiplied (OECD report in 2012, investigations by the Commission on the digital economy and e-commerce, the CMA on consumer data, the Bundeskartellamt on big data, vote by the Italian Parliament of a law on hotel reservation platforms). There have been numerous specific interventions in competition cases in the digital economy (e-booking, Amazon, investigation opened by the Bundeskartellamt against Facebook or online distributors). The digital economy is therefore becoming the hot topic, and one can understand why, as it is disrupting certain markets (particularly advertising or taxis). These are the major competitive and social issues of tomorrow. President Lasserre has therefore chosen four themes: (i) platforms, (ii) the collaborative economy, (iii) data and (iv) the usefulness of intervention by competition authorities.

Photos © Léo-Paul Ridet.

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  • Commission for access to administrative documents - CADA (Paris)
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
  • CRA International (Paris)
  • ENSAE (Paris)