The Economics of the German Investigation of Facebook’s Data Collection
44 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2020
Date Written: April 4, 2020
The importance of digital platforms and related data-driven business models is ever in-creasing and poses challenges for the workability of competition in the respective markets (tendencies towards dominant platforms, paying-with-data instead of traditional money, privacy concerns, etc.). Due to such challenges, investigations of such markets are of high interest. One of recent cases is the investigation of Facebook’s data collection practices by German competition authorities. Our paper, in contrast to the wide stream of legal stud-ies on this case, aims to analyze whether Facebook’s practices regarding data collection could constitute an abuse of market power from an economic perspective, more specifi-cally against the background of modern data economics. In doing so we summarize the state of the advanced theories, including influences from behavioral economics, address-ing such markets, and discuss four potential theories of harm.
Keywords: data economics, big data, economics of privacy, competition, Facebook case, paying-with-data, abuse of dominance, market power, digital economy
JEL Classification: K21, L41, L86, L12, M21, L14, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation