EU Commissioner Vestager has announced that Big Data is firmly on the Competition Law agenda for the Commission. During a speech at the DLD conference in Munich on 17 January 2016, she highlighted the importance of Big Data in today’s internal markets. Vestager acknowledged that Big Data was a potential catalyst for anti-competitive behaviour by companies and was the source of concern to consumers. In concluding, she stated “We continue to look carefully at this issue, but we haven’t found a competition problem yet. This certainly doesn’t mean we never will”.
Whilst acknowledging that “data does not automatically equal power” she indicated that data collection, retention and use on a mass scale is already and should be subject to considerable scrutiny. Vestager went on to explain that further scrutiny did not require the “rule books to be re-written”; she indicated that the EU is already well placed to review competition and privacy issues in Big Data and can apply this to emerging technologies and consumer trends.
A transcript of the speech, entitled ‘Competition in the Big Data World’, is available from the EU Commission website here.
Preiskel & Co LLP have contributed to numerous publications on Big Data, including a chapter in the upcoming 2016 revision of ‘Communications and Competition Law, Key Issues in the Telecoms, Media and Technology Sectors’.
Further information can be found in the News or Blog sections of our website. Further commentary on the Commissioner’s speech and a discussion on the consequences for US companies within Europe, is available on their website.