ARTICLE: COMPETITION ENFORCEMENT - DIGITAL ECONOMY - MARKETPLACES - CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Conflicts of interest and marketplaces: A business law perspective

The European Commission’s recent investigations into Amazon have highlighted the issue of conflicts of interest in competition law. This article explores possible ways to preserve competition while regulating the conflicts of interest inherent in marketplaces. Based on financial law and in particular the concept of inside information, it identifies the conflicts of interest of these platforms before developing the idea of the notion of the use of privileged information in competition law. Finally, the article concludes by presenting what a regime for handling conflicts of interest in marketplaces might consist of.

“It’s time to move on to a creative stage.” [1] - Marc Jaeger, Judge at the General Court of the European Union 1. On 17 July 2019, the European Commission opened a formal investigation procedure against Amazon for using sensitive data from independent retailers selling on its marketplace. [2] This case marks a turning point in the apprehension of the GAFAs by European competition law. The issue goes beyond mere abusive practice and raises new questions as to the legal approach to be adopted to regulate conflicts of interest in competition law. In this perspective, the analysis of marketplaces will highlight the issue of conflicts of interest and their apprehension by competition law. 2. Platforms refer to a set of digital services of different kinds. These can consist of a content

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Alexandre Rouhette, Conflicts of interest and marketplaces: A business law perspective, February 2020, Concurrences N° 1-2020, Art. N° 92628, www.concurrences.com

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