Tuesday, March 19, 2019
iovanna Massarotto, University of Iowa - Henry B. Tippie College of Business writes From Digital to Blockchain Markets: What Role for Antitrust and Regulation.
ABSTRACT: In the context of antitrust, digital markets do not seem to be the primary issue, nor is punishing big companies the real solution. It is most likely that markets will shift from centralized closed platforms into decentralized, open networks based on blockchain technologies. Blockchain technology built on a consensus mechanism can make intermediaries [or third parties] unnecessary. Antitrust enforcers should encourage the innovation process by deterring those intermediaries from engaging in anticompetitive conduct that might slow such a process down and still provide support to those companies as they often have the best resources and knowledge to increase innovation — Microsoft v. Java. On the other hand, although blockchain technology presents the potential for future opportunities, it is far from being perfect; the risk of collusion, for example, is particularly high in private blockchains. The success of blockchain relies on the trust of people in this new technology, which if not used appropriately can damage instead of benefiting markets and consumers. Similar to the Internet, antitrust enforcers and regulators are essential to develop trust in the blockchain and to make viable a decentralized system of democratic markets based on blockchain technology.