The Italian regulation against the abuse of economic dependence is far from being either homogeneous or harmonized. There are, in fact, different sets of laws, sharing different rationales and providing for different means of protection. In order to enhance fairness as the guiding principle on the market and to complement private and public enforcement vis-à-vis abuse conducts, both the interpretation and the enforcement of the Italian rules aimed at counterbalancing economic asymmetries in contractual relations shall take into due account the Italian competition law and policy.
Machine-generated data and automated data collections play an essential role in the data economy. These innovative ‘datasets 4.0’ may qualify for protection as databases within the meaning of Directive 96/9/CE. This essay considers first, whether by strengthening the database makers’ contractual and/or economic position the exploitation of the rights granted by the Database Directive is likely to jeopardize the Digital Single Market Strategy. Second, whether, irrespective of the economic power possibly held by the owner of a database, the misuse doctrine could be usefully invoked in order to neutralize database rights in case they are exercised in ways that run against the rationale of their protection.