Access to Digital Car Data and Competition in Aftersales Services

24 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2018 Last revised: 20 May 2020

See all articles by Bertin Martens

Bertin Martens

Joint Research Centre; Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Frank Mueller-Langer

University of the Bundeswehr Munich; Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; European Commission, Joint Research Center

Date Written: October 1, 2018

Abstract

Prior to the arrival of digital car data, car manufacturers had already partly foreclosed the maintenance market via franchising contracts with a network of exclusive official dealers. EU regulation endorsed this foreclosure but mandated access to maintenance data for independent service providers in order to keep competition in these markets. The arrival of digital car data upsets this balance because manufacturers can collect real-time maintenance data on their servers and send messages to drivers. These can be used to price discriminate and increase the market share of official dealers. There are at least four alternative technical gateways that could give independent service providers similar data access options. However, they suffer in various degrees from data portability issues, switching costs and weak network effects, and insufficient economies of scale and scope in data analytics. Multi-sided third-party consumer media platforms appear to be better-placed to overcome these economic hurdles, provided that an operational real-time data portability regime could be established.

Keywords: data markets, data trade, digital data, connected cars, data protection, car services markets

JEL Classification: L11, L41, L43, L62

Suggested Citation

Martens, Bertin and Mueller-Langer, Frank, Access to Digital Car Data and Competition in Aftersales Services (October 1, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3262807 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3262807

Bertin Martens (Contact Author)

Joint Research Centre ( email )

Edificio Expo, C
Inca Garcilaso, s/n
Sevilla, E-41092
Spain

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Frank Mueller-Langer

University of the Bundeswehr Munich ( email )

Munich
Germany

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Munich
Germany

European Commission, Joint Research Center

Seville
Spain

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