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Shaping Competition Policy in the Era of Digitization – Access to Data

 |  November 13, 2018

Posted by Social Science Research Network

Shaping Competition Policy in the Era of Digitization – Access to Data

By Sebastian Louven (University of Oldenburg)

Data have become an essential basis for economic growth in the European Union. The digital industry itself has brought with it new developments, but traditional industries are also increasingly being digitized. In this context, the economic importance of data is becoming increasingly apparent, whether as a resource for new business models, competition-essential information or also in the negative sense as an opportunity to restrict competition by companies not sharing data. On January 10, 2017, the EU Commission published a Communication entitled “Building a European Data Economy”, which presents various ideas and proposals for legal framework conditions in connection with the European data economy. Besides a Europe-wide cross-border data flow, liability aspects of autonomous systems and Internet of Things applications as well as portability and interoperability of non-personal data and standards, access and transmission of data is also being discussed there. A working paper complements this Communication.

From the point of view of competition law, two main questions derive from this paper for a data access: • First, it must be clarified whether there can be any right of access to data from an antitrust point of view (A.). • Secondly, insofar as such access is to be granted, this access relationship is still to be specifically designed (B.).