Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Pinar Akman, Leeds offers An Agenda for Competition Law and Policy in the Digital Economy.
ABSTRACT: The ongoing debate on competition law and policy in the digital economy raises the question whether the current competition rules and tools are sufficient to deal with competition cases involving technology companies such as online platforms. Competition authorities find themselves under increasing pressure to do something, anything, about—in particular, but not only—big tech, with some commentators suggesting that they should even consider forsaking the paradigm that has reigned supreme in modern competition policies for decades: the consumer welfare standard. When as much as the shaping of an entire industrial revolution is at stake, legislators should resist an overhaul of the rules, and competition authorities should resist the pressure to abandon the standard that has long guided their enforcement. This is so not least because global companies with global business models giving rise to global issues require global responses. Global cooperation and convergence cannot be achieved if nations increasingly diverge in their approaches to the question of what to do to about the digital economy, and start pursuing undertheorised, uncertain, and untested objectives in their enforcement of the competition rules.