Competition Law, Big Data and Privacy
Maria Wasastjerna, Senior Legal Counsel Competition Law, Nokia Corporation, Finland
For years, big data has been the hot buzzword across industries. At the same time, the debate about big data and its implications for competition law has grown louder. The rather polarized discussion focuses on whether data protection and privacy should play a role in competition law enforcement and policy. On one side there are antitrust commentators whose concern is that, much like a ‘free lunch’, there is no such thing as ‘free’ internet services and therefore competition enforcement must step in to prevent consumer harm, including data protection and privacy of consumers. On the other side are those who maintain that big data are no different from other types of input or strategic assets, and that existing rules and procedures can sufficiently address any antitrust concerns that arise. Whereas one side favors more proactive antitrust enforcement in the big data sphere, the other opposes such intervention and considers competition law inappropriate for regulation of big data.
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