The antitrust orthodoxy is blind to real data harms

Artboard 17 copy 3Publications

Competition agencies and their classically trained economists continue to see “privacy” as a value distinct from their traditional domain (the pursuit of market power violations). And because there is data protection regulation, and associated privacy regulators, the typical posture is that privacy and data protection are the sole domain of specialist data protection agencies. But data protection regulators in Europe have consistently failed to enforce existing laws against large tech firms. Consumers are thus caught up in a double failure:  data protection regulators have failed to enforce, while the economic orthodoxy that prevails within the antitrust agencies views these concerns as (largely) not their problem.

In this article Dr Cristina Caffarra, Dr Gregory Crawford and Dr Johnny Ryan make the case that (lack of) privacy is an (often unobservable) price of using digital platforms, and that (lack of) privacy facilitates mainstream antitrust harms such as exploitation and foreclosure by dominant digital platforms.

To read the publication please click here.