Jacques moderated the discussion and clarified from the outset that competition issues relating to data are not only related to the essential facility doctrine.
Louise first explained some of the key concepts around data. Then she discussed some of the major concerns around data, with a particular focus on the “very emblematic” Google Shopping case.
What is data ? It is information that is processed by or stored in a computer in different formats. The term data has been superseded by the term Big Data due to an increase in our online activity. Big Data is characterized by “the 4 Vs” : volume, variety, velocity and value. Volume refers to the fact that there is increasingly more data available. Variety means that companies now have access to more diversified data : today a company is able to know not only someone’s name or address, but also someone’s dietary habits or purchasing history for example. Velocity means that companies are able to process, store and analyze data almost in real time thanks to powerful IT tools. Lastly, Value refers to a firm’s capability to extract useful information from data.