The French Autorité de la concurrence and the German Bundeskartellamt have worked together in order to establish a paper which shall assist stakeholders and competition authorities when assessing the relevance and implications of data in competition law.
After a general introduction on data, the paper illustrates which roles data can have in a competitive analysis (e.g. data as a source of market power or data-related anticompetitive conducts) and then focuses on the assessment of "big data and market power". Finally, the paper comes to the conclusion that when assessing the relevance of data in the context of competition law, the volume of the data in question is of particular importance as well as whether the data is easily accessible and replicable.
Although the actual conclusion of the paper may not be too surprising, the joint paper still should be able to give stakeholders some guidance and shows that, when dealing with data in their business, companies do not only have to consider legal areas such as data privacy, cyber security and intellectual property; the relevance of data has to be considered in all kinds of legal contexts.
Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt, and Bruno Lasserre, President of the Autorité de la concurrence: “Business models particularly in the digital economy often involve a massive collection and use of (personal) data. The aim of the paper is to provide a good overview on the relevant issues by evaluating the state-of-play of the debate and to discuss the various interfaces between Big Data and established concepts of competition law enforcement. ”