Dear all,

we are very happy to invite you to the third meetup of the Finance, Law and Economics Working Group.
The meetup will take place on Wednesday, April 29th at 5 pm CET and you can attend by joining us at this link:
During this meetup, we will discuss with Arletta Gorecka about her research on the challenges of digitalisation faced by competition law. (see detailed abstract below).
As in the previous meetups we aim at having a short presentation (15/20 min) followed by an informal discussion (15/20 min).
These meetups are a good way for us, members of the Finance, Law, Economics working group, to stay in touch and make everybody feel more energized and motivated.
If you want to present in one of the following meetups, you can send us an abstract of 300 words to:
[email protected]; [email protected]
We accept presentation proposals on a rolling basis.
We look forward to seeing you online!

Competition law faces the challenge of digitalisation. The lack of a standardised approach to data collection and privacy assessment, and controversy surrounding the recent investigations (for example: German Bundeskartellamt against Facebook (2019), or Google Search (Shopping) (2017)) indicate challenges that are not initiating traditional anticompetitive scrutiny. This leads to the normative scope of competition enforcement. The multitude of EU competition law goals provides a framework for concerns of possible effects on growth, innovation, quality, choice and friction, implied by network effects, data pools and platforms. Arguably, the privacy breaches could qualify as reducing competitive process, or expanding theories of harm. Through the understanding of the competition law discourses, the thesis expect to assess privacy’s role and impact on the EU competition law corpus, considering various contexts, including unilateral conduct issues and merger control.

Beyond this, the thesis looks at broader concerns and assess the scope, limits and application of EU competition law to the digital economy. This debate is rooted in assessing whether competition law can be used to broader macroeconomic agenda. The interpretation of competition law is embedded in ideology. The EU Commission (1993) accepted that competition law is a component of socio-economic and political facets and, arguably, cannot be pursued in isolation. This offers dynamics whereby the EU regime notes the goals’ plurality, acknowledging their effectiveness in capturing price and non-price effects. Also, the protection of the individuals’ rights as consumers and market participants is recognised by data protection and consumer protection authorities; the privacy concerns might be less appealing for competition law authorities, due to its extensive legal protection. Hence, this is insightful to assess whether competition law’s mandate should be expanded to consider wider public policy implications and identify whether competition law enforcement is suitable for the digital economy, considering wider deliberations such as democratic values, freedoms, fairness and plurality. This research hopes to identify workable and predicable intervention benchmark and scope of remedies that courts and competition authorities could consider when assessing anticompetitive activities in digital markets, by taking into account the market power theme rising from data collection, and attempts to advance consensus on the adequate intervention level and the balance between competition enforcement and regulation.