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Digital Platforms — New EU Regulations and Competition Law Tools

 |  December 29, 2020

By: Robert Klotz & Ciara Barbu O’Connor (Sheppard Mullin)

The ever increasing market power and often criticised conduct of data driven platforms is not new, but lately the efforts to tackle these appear to have taken a decisive turn. We are now on the verge of new rules and tools to tackle the competition issues arising with the tech giants.

There is a perceived enforcement gap, especially with regard to the leading players in the digital sector, which the EU intends to address with new tools. These will come as amendments to the existing competition rules and as new upfront regulations. Other network industries, such as telecommunications or energy, serve as a blueprint for such endeavours.

The underlying competition concerns in digital markets are not confined to Europe. The USA have also seen increased concentration, rising profit margins, declining market entry and low investment relative to profits. The EU is even pushing for a coordinated approach in working towards a “trans-Atlantic technology space”, but this note covers only the current EU proposals…