Should We Be Concerned About Data-opolies?

2 Georgetown Law Technology Review 275 (2018)

University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 349

50 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2018 Last revised: 5 Aug 2018

See all articles by Maurice E. Stucke

Maurice E. Stucke

University of Tennessee College of Law; The Konkurrenz Group

Date Written: March 19, 2018


With the rise of a progressive antitrust movement, the power of Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon is now topical. This article explores some of the potential harms from data-opolies. Data-opolies, in contrast to the earlier monopolies, are unlikely to exercise their power by charging higher prices to consumers. But this does not mean they are harmless. Data-opolies can raise other significant concerns, including less privacy, degraded quality, a transfer of wealth from consumers to data-opolies, less innovation and dynamic disruption in markets in which they dominate, and political and social concerns.

Data-opolies can also be more durable than some earlier monopolies. Moreover, data-opolies at times can more easily avoid antitrust scrutiny when they engage in anticompetitive tactics to attain or maintain their dominance.

The United States Department of Justice has brought only one monopolization case under Section 2 of the Sherman Act in the past decade. This abdication is not justifiable going forward, given the risks posed by these data-opolies, whose abuses can affect not only our wallets, but also our privacy, autonomy, democracy, and well-being.

Keywords: Monopoly, Antitrust, Big Data, Network Effects

JEL Classification: K21, L40, L41

Suggested Citation

Stucke, Maurice E., Should We Be Concerned About Data-opolies? (March 19, 2018). 2 Georgetown Law Technology Review 275 (2018); University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 349. Available at SSRN: or

Maurice E. Stucke (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )

1505 W. Cumberland Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States
865-974-9816 (Phone)


The Konkurrenz Group ( email )

5335 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Suite 440
Washington, DC 20015
United States

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