eSports and Antitrust Law

30 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2022 Last revised: 2 Nov 2022

See all articles by Soojin Nam

Soojin Nam

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

Viktoria H.S.E. Robertson

Vienna University of Economics and Business; University of Graz; The Competition Law Hub

Fabian Ziermann

Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (WU); The Competition Law Hub

Date Written: October 31, 2022

Abstract

The eSports sector has greatly matured over the past years, developing into a fully-fledged, multi-facetted industry sector in its own right. Game publishers bring together entire digital ecosystems that comprise a multitude of actors, ranging from professional players and teams to amateur players and fans, leagues, broadcasters, advertisers, betting companies and sponsors. While antitrust law has increasingly focused on digital platforms in recent years, the strong reliance of eSports on intellectual property rights adds a new dimension to the antitrust debate. This contribution applies knowledge that competition law has gathered in digital platforms to the specific setting of eSports. It provides an overview of the competition law challenges that must be addressed in the eSports sector, including how to define the relevant antitrust market(s), how to conceptualize market power in this dynamic ecosystem, the types of anti-competitive agreements that one may find in eSports, potential abusive behaviour by powerful eSports publishers, and the question of external growth through mergers.

Keywords: competition law, digital markets, eSports, gaming, market power, video games

Suggested Citation

Nam, Soojin and Robertson, Viktoria H.S.E. and Ziermann, Fabian, eSports and Antitrust Law (October 31, 2022). Graz Law Working Paper No. 16-2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4252566 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4252566

Soojin Nam

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies ( email )

Viktoria H.S.E. Robertson (Contact Author)

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://www.wu.ac.at/en/complaw/

University of Graz ( email )

Universitätsstraße 15/C4
Graz, 8010
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://unternehmensrecht.uni-graz.at/de/institut/mitarbeiterinnen/robertson/

The Competition Law Hub ( email )

Austria

HOME PAGE: http://www.complawhub.eu

Fabian Ziermann

Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (WU) ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, A-1020
Austria

The Competition Law Hub ( email )

Austria

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