Competition Law for the Digital Economy
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Competition Law for the Digital Economy

Edited by Björn Lundqvist and Michal S. Gal

The digital economy is gradually gaining traction through a variety of recent technological developments, including the introduction of the Internet of things, artificial intelligence and markets for data. This innovative book contains contributions from leading competition law scholars who map out and investigate the anti-competitive effects that are developing in the digital economy.
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Chapter 4: Competition by design

Simonetta Vezzoso


Algorithms are the fundamental ingredient of online businesses such as search engines, marketplaces, peer-to-peer platforms and social networks. Whereas the issues of algorithmic transparency and accountability are common to other areas of law and policy, there are further and more specific implications for competition policy. Against the background of increasingly algorithm-based markets, the chapter explores the potential of the notion of ‘competition by design’, as broadly derived from the related concept of ‘data protection by design’, which is enshrined in the General Data Protection Regulation. EU Competition Commissioner Margarethe Vestager made clear that firms applying algorithms need to think from the start about how to keep them compliant with competition law (‘algorithms will have to go to law school before they are let out’). The chapter concludes that algorithm design thinking could be a promising new tool at the disposal of competition authorities in the digital economy.

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