Competition Law and Big Data
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Competition Law and Big Data

Imposing Access to Information in Digital Markets

Beata Mäihäniemi

In this timely book, Beata Mäihäniemi analyses and evaluates how the characteristics of information as a good, as well as the characteristics of digital platforms, affect the application of competition law in both theory and practice.
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Chapter 2: Introduction to Part I: theory on abuse of dominance in digital markets

Beata Mäihäniemi

Abstract

The chapter stresses that where good/input takes a form of information, competition law has to be adjusted but not necessarily radically changed. Understanding that information can be seen sometimes as a ‘commodity’ and sometimes as ‘commons’ may help in addressing the competition problems that arise in digital markets. Characteristics of information as a product or service as well as the general, specific characteristics of new technology markets, in particular of online platforms have a great, if not decisive, impact on the assessment of market power as well as on the assessment of whether the undertaking in question is dominant and abuses its allegedly dominant position. Information is now not only a product or service, but it can also be seen as an input, or barrier to entry, for example. Such a variety of purposes may seem confusing to competition authorities, but in fact, it does not have to be so. Understanding the characteristics of information and the basic rules of digital markets, as well as welcoming notions such as innovation or potential competition, may significantly reduce the cost of legal error in competition assessment.

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