Monday, December 12, 2022

Overview of Privacy in Cases Relevant to Competition

Overview of Privacy in Cases Relevant to Competition

Christophe Carugati

Université Paris II - Panthéon-Assas; Bruegel


Privacy in competition cases is becoming common due to the importance of data. The literature thus focuses on the role of data and privacy in antitrust and merger control laws. Yet, the literature does not offer an empirical overview of the cases to understand how countries investigate the issue. This paper fills the gap. From publicly available cases from the first cases in 2007 until September 2022 and online surveys sent to 91 competition authorities in January 2022 in the context of a database of antitrust cases related to privacy for the law journal Concurrences, it offers for the first time a comprehensive overview of the topic. The data collection focuses on competition cases and contains consumer protection and data protection cases relevant to competition. The paper found that several countries are investigating, or have investigated, privacy issues under the three legal regimes, mostly under antitrust laws in the digital sector. Several ongoing cases still pose unresolved questions, especially when competition and privacy conflicts. This requires a cooperation mechanism between competition and non-competition authorities to deal with cross-regulatory issues, in which authorities should deepen their knowledge of other legal regimes, and adapt and use the instruments of international cooperation between competition authorities.

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