By Cristina Caffarra

The known limitations of traditional antitrust rules are no reason for a view that “antitrust is just inadequate to deal with the issues raised by large digital platforms, we need regulation.” Smart regulation is a complement with a key role to play but we can and should pursue antitrust cases more creatively without being shackled by lack of precedent, and give substantive content to notions of “exploitative abuse” – not confined just to excess pricing. In articulating and developing theories of harm that “fit the conduct,” we need to consider how different business models and monetization strategies shape incentives and drive behavior. There is no single “GAFAM” issue – from “super aggregators” to true platforms, incentives differ and will contribute (together with economies of scope in data and behavioral conduct of consumers) to different priors, raising different questions and levels of concern.

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