Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Digitalisation: An Opportunity or a Risk?

Bitten Thorgaard Sørensen asks Digitalisation: An Opportunity or a Risk? 

ABSTRACT: As with all other questions within competition law, the answer is: ‘it depends…’.

First and foremost, from the point of view of a competition enforcer I see digitalisation as a massive opportunity. In short, digitalisation can lead to new business models, the rise of new competitors, better, and/or lower-priced products and services. Often the most important role we as competition enforcers have to play in this area is that of being an advocate for digitalisation e.g. advocating for the abolishment of unnecessary legislation standing in the way of disruptive competition.

But, certainly, digitalisation and some of its key features such as network effects, big data and algorithms, raise a number of competition related risks.

One such risk is that digitalisation and the use of algorithms, price robots and artificial intelligence may facilitate both explicit and tacit collusion.

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