Competition Law as Regulation
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Competition Law as Regulation

  • ASCOLA Competition Law series

Edited by Josef Drexl and Fabiana Di Porto

To what extent should competition agencies act as market regulators? Competition Law as Regulation provides numerous insights from competition scholars on new trends at the interface of competition law and sector-specific regulation. By relying on the experiences of a considerable number of different jurisdictions, and applying a comparative approach to the topic, this book constitutes an important addition to international research on the interface of competition and regulation. It addresses the fundamental issues of the subject, and contributes to legal theory and practice. Topics discussed include foundations of the complex relationship of competition law and regulation, new forms of advocacy powers of competition agencies, competition law enforcement in regulated industries in general, information and telecommunications markets, and competition law as regulation in IP-related markets.
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Chapter 9: From competition law to sector-specific regulation in internet markets? A critical assessment of a possible structural change

Rolf H. Weber

Abstract

At the beginning of the worldwide triumph of the Internet and Internet-based services, many competition law authorities adopted a hands-off approach with regard to the Internet industry. Meanwhile, however, changes can be observed in this respect from a regulatory point of view. This chapter takes this opportunity to critically assess the recent developments in the Internet sector. After giving a general overview of the specific features of online markets and the different kinds of Internet businesses from the competition law perspective, the chapter undertakes a thorough examination and analysis of the recent regulatory approaches and the tendencies in politics and economics in relation to the Internet. On the basis of these theoretical findings, a practical approach is chosen by means of case studies on online sellers, search engines and social networks in order to illustrate possible risks caused by structural changes in the relevant Internet markets. These findings finally allow the designing of possible guidelines and new perspectives for competition regulation in the future.

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