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Changing Competition Law for the Digital Sector

Kiran Desai


Keywords: competition, digital, proposals, objective, economics

Policy debate in the EU and international fora and institutions are leading to proposed changes to competition law as applied to the technology and in particular digital sectors. A review of the proposals identifies two groups, first, those that are a more aggressive application of competition law and second, those addressing non-traditional goals, such as data privacy. The EU’s Digital Markets Act is an example of the latter, while a change to the EU Merger Regulation is an example of the former. The proposed changes are open to criticism, for example because they create a differential application of competition law to one sector compared to others and there are definitional challenges. Furthermore, competition economic analysis, with its emphasis on consumer welfare,may need to be broadened to enable a normative and theoretical consistency between the current laws and the proposed changes. In addition, where the changes are to address goals not susceptible to such analysis, such as human rights, lawyers will need to be open to adding arguments based on other jurisprudential theories to support their cases.
Keywords: competition; digital; proposals; objective; economics

Kiran Desai, partner, sole practitioner, Kiran S. Desai Avocat srl, Brussels. For correspondence: <>.


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