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
Date Written: October 2, 2019
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
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