The Interaction of EU Competition, Consumer, and Data Protection Law in the Digital Economy: The Regulatory Dilemma in the Facebook Odyssey

Botta M., Wiedemann K. (2019), 'The Interaction of EU Competition, Consumer, and Data Protection Law in the Digital Economy: The Regulatory Dilemma in the Facebook Odyssey.' 64(3) Antitrust Bulletin: 428-446. DOI: 10.1177/0003603X19863590

26 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2019 Last revised: 13 Dec 2019

See all articles by Marco Botta

Marco Botta

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Klaus Wiedemann

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Date Written: October 2, 2019

Abstract

This article analyzes the interaction of EU competition, consumer and data protection law in the digital economy. We compare the objectives, rules and enforcement structures of these legal regimes, and we discuss market failures that justify regulatory intervention in digital markets. In particular, the Facebook investigations in Germany and Italy are selected as a case study. The Bundeskartellamt’s investigations are remarkable, being the first in which an exploitative abuse of dominance involving a digital platform has been decided under competition law. These we compare with their Italian counterpart, where the AGCM has recently sanctioned Facebook for behavior similar to that investigated in Germany. Yet, the Italian case has been decided under consumer, rather than competition law. This shows the regulatory dilemma faced by European antitrust authorities, which are currently struggling to find a solution to the market failures arising in digital markets.

Keywords: Digital economy, EU competition law, EU data protection law, EU consumer law, privacy paradox, exploitative abuse of dominance, market failure

Suggested Citation

Botta, Marco and Wiedemann, Klaus, The Interaction of EU Competition, Consumer, and Data Protection Law in the Digital Economy: The Regulatory Dilemma in the Facebook Odyssey (October 2, 2019). Botta M., Wiedemann K. (2019), 'The Interaction of EU Competition, Consumer, and Data Protection Law in the Digital Economy: The Regulatory Dilemma in the Facebook Odyssey.' 64(3) Antitrust Bulletin: 428-446. DOI: 10.1177/0003603X19863590, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3462983 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3462983

Marco Botta (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Klaus Wiedemann

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
M√ľnchen, Bayern 80539
Germany

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