Putting Trust into Antitrust? Competition Policy and Data-Driven Platforms

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Putting Trust into Antitrust? Competition Policy and Data-Driven Platforms. / Larsson, Stefan.

I: European Journal of Communication, 13.07.2021, s. 1-13.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Putting Trust into Antitrust? Competition Policy and Data-Driven Platforms

AU - Larsson, Stefan

PY - 2021/7/13

Y1 - 2021/7/13

N2 - Anti-competitive notions, it seems, are increasingly informing the critical debate on a data-driven economy organised into scalable digital platforms. Issues of market definitions, how to value personal data on multisided platforms, and how to detect and regulate misuses of dominant positions have become key nomenclature on the battlefield of addressing fairness in our contemporary digital societies. This article looks at the central themes for this special issue on governing trust in European platform societies through the lens of contemporary developments in the field of competition law. Three main questions are addressed: (1) To what extent are the platforms’ own abilities to govern their infrastructures, that is, to be de facto regulators over both human behaviour and market circumstances, a challenge for contemporary competition regulation? (2) In what way is the collection, aggregation, or handling of consumers’ data of relevance for competition? (3) How can the particular European challenges of governing US-based digital platforms more broadly be understood in terms of the relationship between transparency and public trust? Of particular relevance – and challenge – here are the platforms’ abilities to govern their infrastructures, albeit through automated moderation, pricing or scalable data handling. It is argued that this aspect of coded, and possibly autonomously adapting, intra-platform governance, poses significant anti-competitive challenges for supervisory authorities, with possible negative implications for consumer autonomy and wellbeing as well as platform-dependent other companies.

AB - Anti-competitive notions, it seems, are increasingly informing the critical debate on a data-driven economy organised into scalable digital platforms. Issues of market definitions, how to value personal data on multisided platforms, and how to detect and regulate misuses of dominant positions have become key nomenclature on the battlefield of addressing fairness in our contemporary digital societies. This article looks at the central themes for this special issue on governing trust in European platform societies through the lens of contemporary developments in the field of competition law. Three main questions are addressed: (1) To what extent are the platforms’ own abilities to govern their infrastructures, that is, to be de facto regulators over both human behaviour and market circumstances, a challenge for contemporary competition regulation? (2) In what way is the collection, aggregation, or handling of consumers’ data of relevance for competition? (3) How can the particular European challenges of governing US-based digital platforms more broadly be understood in terms of the relationship between transparency and public trust? Of particular relevance – and challenge – here are the platforms’ abilities to govern their infrastructures, albeit through automated moderation, pricing or scalable data handling. It is argued that this aspect of coded, and possibly autonomously adapting, intra-platform governance, poses significant anti-competitive challenges for supervisory authorities, with possible negative implications for consumer autonomy and wellbeing as well as platform-dependent other companies.

KW - competition policy and platforms

KW - consumer autonomy

KW - transparency and automation

KW - public trust and platform governance

KW - the Digital Markets Act

KW - antitrust

U2 - 10.1177/02673231211028358

DO - 10.1177/02673231211028358

M3 - Article

SP - 1

EP - 13

JO - European Journal of Communication

JF - European Journal of Communication

SN - 0267-3231

ER -