Numérique et concurrence : Faut-il revoir les règles ?

1ère édition de la conférence "Numérique et concurrence" organisée par Concurrences, en partenariat avec Covington & Burling, CRA International, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Google et Intesa Sanpaolo.

Daniel Fasquelle opened the conference by stressing that the topic of competition in digital markets is of interest not only to jurists and economists, academic and practitioners, but also to the Legislature. He expects that initiatives be undertaken within the Economics Affairs Commission of the Assemblée Nationale.

To begin with, Mr. Fasquelle reminded the title of the conference : ‘Should the rules be changed ?’ He explained that difficulties have arisen from the fact that digital markets are characterized by specific features that are different from traditional markets, including network effects and market barriers due to data accumulation. Therefore, the analytical framework has changed. Various initiatives have been undertaken, both at the national levels and at the European and international levels. The ongoing discussions are building on an already large set of materials.

Then, Mr. Fasquelle elaborated on a few introductory remarks. First, he noted that competition law appears to be threatened (in competition with other disciplines, or a sui generis sector-specific regulatory regime) as a tool to preserve and promote fair competition in digital markets ; competition law must and will adapt. Under French law, the prohibition on unfair trading practices and that of practices which restrict competition remain useful tools, among others, which provide with material solutions. The law has proved to be flexible. Mr. Fasquelle also highlighted the collaborative approach adopted by the national competition authorities but also by other relevant actors. He mentioned the European Digital Media Observatory. However, further changes must be made. Mr. Fasquelle noted that the Furman report and the Crémer reports coincides in that they endorse further action since the existing tools are not suitable to address the issues raised by the conduct and market shares of the biggest tech companies. He outlined the most recent initiatives, before suggesting that, when revising competition law and enforcement, the emphasis should be placed on market definition, theories of harm, predation, and merger control.

Photos © Léo-Paul Ridet

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  • CNIL (Paris)
  • French National Assembly (Paris)
  • EDPS - European Data Protection Supervisor (Brussels)
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA) (Washington DC)
  • Facebook (United Kingdom)
  • Intesa Sanpaolo (Milan)
  • Covington & Burling (Brussels)
  • DG COMP (Brussels)
  • Google (London)
  • British Competition Authority - CMA (London)
  • Uber (Paris)
  • Utrecht University
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
  • French Competition Authority (Paris)
  • Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
  • CRA International (London)