Edited by Björn Lundqvist and Michal S. Gal
Chapter 4: Competition by design
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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