Through the Looking Glass: AI, Mergers and the Role of Competition Law in Digital Governance

Jennifer A. Quaid, "Through the Looking Glass: AI, Mergers and the Role of Competition Law in Digital Governance", in C. Castets-Renard & J. Eynard, eds, A law of artificial intelligence: between sectoral rules and general regime. Comparative perspectives, Brussels: Larcier/Bruylant Hors Série, Fort

27 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2022 Last revised: 29 Nov 2022

See all articles by Jennifer Quaid

Jennifer Quaid

University of Ottawa - Civil Law Section

Date Written: July 2, 2022

Abstract

In this paper, I consider the critical question of the role of competition policy in digital governance. To do so, I consider what many see as a microcosm of the promise and the risks associated with our digital world – the progressive and rapidly expanding place of artificial intelligence within our economy – against the backdrop of what is considered the paradigmatic example of market regulation and competition policy – merger review. I situate the analysis in Canadian law, where the adaptation of regulation to the digital economy is still in its infancy, with the goal of identifying promising policy proposals to guide the essential legislative and regulatory process that lies ahead.

Using a tailored concept of AI that focuses on its constituent economic inputs, I examine more closely how economic incentives and business practices informed by AI interact with traditional models of assessing the competitive impacts of market power. This provides a sharper lens for considering whether and how much competition law ought to be adapted in response to the realities of the new economy because it shows the practical impossibility of neatly separating the economic impact of AI from its non-economic impacts. I contend that responding to this new reality of blurred lines will require a serious re-examination of the limited footprint of Canadian competition law beyond its current ambit. My assessment is that given Canada’s legal and political structure and existing enforcement capacity limits, competition law will have to assume a greater role in digital governance, at least in the short term. Looking further ahead, I argue that competition policy must be part of a whole-of-government governance structure where relevant policy areas are coordinated to ensure Canada is well-positioned to respond to both existing and future issues related to the digital transformation, particularly those that cross sectorial lines.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence; Mergers; Antitrust; Competition; Market Power; Digital Governance; Canada

JEL Classification: K21

Suggested Citation

Quaid, Jennifer, Through the Looking Glass: AI, Mergers and the Role of Competition Law in Digital Governance (July 2, 2022). Jennifer A. Quaid, "Through the Looking Glass: AI, Mergers and the Role of Competition Law in Digital Governance", in C. Castets-Renard & J. Eynard, eds, A law of artificial intelligence: between sectoral rules and general regime. Comparative perspectives, Brussels: Larcier/Bruylant Hors Série, Fort, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3930900 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3930900

Jennifer Quaid (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Civil Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Dr
Ottawa
Canada
613-562-5800 x 3240 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://droitcivil.uottawa.ca/en/people/quaid-jennifer

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
104
Abstract Views
603
Rank
480,300
PlumX Metrics