The following Competition guidance note Produced in partnership with Norton Rose Fulbright LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
ARCHIVED–this archived practice note provides information on EU competition law and big data and algorithms and reflects the position at the date of publication (11 November 2017). It is not maintained.
With the growing importance of ‘big data’ for a wide range of purposes across many industries, authorities, academics and practitioners have devoted increasing attention in recent years to the antitrust implications for antitrust policy and enforcement of big data and the use of algorithms to process them. In September 2016, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager promised to ‘keep a close eye on how companies use data’, and a number of European competition authorities have recently conducted, or in some cases are still conducting, studies on big data issues.
Authorities and commentators have raised two main types of concern: first, that the use of algorithms processing big data may play a role in restrictive agreements, decisions or concerted practices or otherwise facilitate collusion and second, that the collection of big datasets that are valuable, unique and non-replicable may create barriers to entry and market power for the data holder. Concerns about the role of algorithms in restrictive agreements, decisions and concerted practices can be addressed under Article 101 TFEU, but questions have also been raised about whether the use of algorithms facilitates tacit collusion not caught by Article 101 TFEU.
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