Advanced Short Course 5
Advanced Short Course on Data and Competition Policy
Outline of Course Contents
With the digitisation of commercial activity and the rapid development of computing technology over the last 30 years, consumer data plays an increasingly important role in firm business decisions. This course will start with a review explaining why/when data may create market power and lead to adverse effects on competition. As a means of improving product quality, enhancing scale, segmenting consumers, or potentially restricting future competition, data is at the core of many recent merger cases and acquisitions, especially by “big tech” (Google, Apple, Microsoft, Meta, Amazon).
The course will discuss the economics of data driven mergers, outlining the ways in which data plays a role in various theories of harm, including potential concerns about privacy. Important recent cases, such as Facebook/Instagram, Google/Waze and Google/Fitbit will be discussed in detail and linked to relevant models. This course will also present broader empirical evidence related to the scale and scope of digital mergers and acquisitions, and evidence assessing the effects of data on competition and market outcomes.
¹ a.h. = academic hour (50 minutes)