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Public Procurement as a Safeguard for Competition:

The Case of Smart City Services

Laurens Vandercruysse, Caroline Buts, Michaël Dooms

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/core/2021/2/5

Keywords: smart city, public procurement, data protection, data sharing, EU Digital Strategy


Through the adoption of the European Union’s Digital Strategy, the European Commission aims to tackle pressing issues specific to markets of data-intensive services. One of these issues is the substantial and durable competitive advantage that emerges from having exclusive access to large sets of data. The Digital Markets Act proposal, a prime pillar of the Digital Strategy, allows for the identification of gatekeepers. These gatekeepers would then be subject to additional obligations, for example enabling wider data access. This article focuses on the market for smart city services and proposes the adoption of a more proactive approach through public procurement. We argue the onus should be on preventing service providers from becoming gatekeepers, rather than attempting to repair a competitive space once a gatekeeper has arisen.
Keywords: smart city, public procurement, data protection, data sharing, EU Digital Strategy

Laurens Vandercruysse, Department of Business, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium. Caroline Buts, Department of Applied Economics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium. Michaël Dooms, Department of Business, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium. For correspondence: <mailto:laurens.vandercruysse@vub.be>.

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