Is Knowledge (Market) Power? - On the Relationship Between Data Protection, 'Data Power' and Competition Law
NZKart 2016, 303 et seq. and 348 et seq. (German version)
31 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2018
Date Written: January 29, 2018
Everyone is talking about the relationship between data protection, “data power” and competition law. The increasing importance of data and the presumed concentration of data in the hands of certain companies have stoked fears, leading to calls for political regulation and increased antitrust oversight. The merger of Facebook and WhatsApp, the ongoing EU proceedings against Google, and the investigations of Facebook by the German FCO (Bundeskartellamt) have cast a spotlight on the role of competition law. The following contribution explores the significance of data and data protection in competition law. Section I examines the role of data in the Internet economy. Section II follows with an analysis of the competitive relevance of data to establish “data power” or market power. Building on this, Section III examines potentially abusive practices of “data rich” companies. Finally – particularly with a view to the current antitrust proceeding against Facebook – Section IV evaluates the relationship between data protection and competition law.
The German version of this article was previously published in NZKart 2016, 303 et seq. and 348 et seq. The English Version updates and expands the original presentation.
Keywords: market power, data, digital economy, platforms, privacy, data protection, Facebook case
JEL Classification: K21, K23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation