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Voir la traduction en français Competition law enforcement and regulation for digital ecosystems : Understanding the issues, facing the challenges and moving forward

ARTICLE: DIGITAL PLATFORMS - COMPETITION POLICY - REGULATION - DIGITAL MARKETS ACT

Competition law enforcement and regulation for digital ecosystems: Understanding the issues, facing the challenges and moving forward

Competition authorities are under severe political pressure to intervene quickly against the digital behemoth for a variety of reasons. Various expert reports have suggested that traditional antitrust or competition law enforcement and merger control are inadequate or insufficient to deal with competition issues in the digital sector. This paper explores the competition issues raised by digital platforms and ecosystems, the extent to which these issues can be dealt with by competition law and whether regulation could be a complement or a substitute to competition law enforcement. The paper is divided into three sections. In the first section, we look at the economics of digital platforms and ecosystems and their business models. In the second part, we analyze the main challenges faced by competition authorities when they apply their traditional analytical tools to antitrust or merger control cases in the digital sector. The third part compares the EU Digital Markets Act proposal to regulate gatekeeper platforms and the UK proposal to establish an enforceable code of conduct to govern the behavior of platforms funded by digital advertising that are designated as having strategic market status (SMS). We conclude with a research agenda to help competition authorities avoid the risks of inadvertently giving in to the political pressure of economic populism or ideology or issuing misguided decisions which may be ineffective or, even worse, restrict competition or innovation in the digital sector.

1. Competition authorities are under severe political pressure to intervene quickly against the digital behemoth for a variety of reasons. The extraordinary financial success of a few companies, some of which have benefited from the Covid-19 crisis, combined with the idea that they have been highly successful at optimizing their tax status and avoiding paying taxes, has cemented a political consensus that they should be scrutinized and that their power should be curtailed. 2. The inability of antitrust authorities to control the merger wave initiated by the GAFAM in the US and the fact that in Europe a limited number of cases brought by the EC Commission against Microsoft, Google or Amazon have not had a tangible effect on their behavior has meant that a number of critics argue that

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Auteur

  • ESSEC Business School (Cergy)

Citation

Frédéric Jenny, Competition law enforcement and regulation for digital ecosystems : Understanding the issues, facing the challenges and moving forward , septembre 2021, Concurrences N° 3-2021, Art. N° 101662, pp. 38-62

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