Promoting competition while protecting consumers in the digital economy

Digital platforms are at the centre of the digital economy and have changed the way we live, purchase, trade and communicate. They have become indispensable for both businesses and consumers.

A handful of these platforms have become dominant in specific markets without facing competition: Amazon as a marketplace, Facebook in social networking, and Google in search engines, Amazon and Microsoft in cloud computing, and Apple and Google in application store market.

Digital platforms rely on data provided by consumers and consumers are losing control over their data and privacy. These markets are characterized as multisided markets with economies of scale, network effects and winner-takes-all features. Their growing market power raises concerns not only for consumers and small businesses but also for competition and consumer protection authorities.

Objectives of this research project

This research project will look at how competition and consumer protection laws and policies could be adapted to address the challenges arising in the data-driven digital markets and sharing economy.

It will look into alternative tools to deal with these challenges such as fair competition provisions in competition laws of some countries such as Japan and the Republic of Korea.

It will then examine the potential role of regional competition rules in effectively addressing competition challenges at the regional level.

 

Contact Information

Ebru Gokce Dessemond
Legal Officer
Competition and Consumer Policies Branch (CCPB)
UNCTAD

E-mail: Ebru.Gokce@un.org