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Online challenges for EU competition policy - Analysis of the Google Shopping Decision

Renström, Nils LU (2018) JURM02 20181
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
We live an increasingly larger part of our lives online. The Internet has fundamentally changed how we find information, buy products, connect with friends and find entertainment such as video streaming and digital distribution of books. The Internet has changed the competitive landscape for many markets. Local sellers suddenly face competition from sellers around the globe, introducing more choice and added transparency. Online marketplaces, such as E-bay or Amazon, have more or less erased the former geographical barriers and lowered search costs for consumers. The emerge of new markets, such as Internet search and online retail, that largely operates new business models focused on monetizing user data with advertisements whilst... (More)
We live an increasingly larger part of our lives online. The Internet has fundamentally changed how we find information, buy products, connect with friends and find entertainment such as video streaming and digital distribution of books. The Internet has changed the competitive landscape for many markets. Local sellers suddenly face competition from sellers around the globe, introducing more choice and added transparency. Online marketplaces, such as E-bay or Amazon, have more or less erased the former geographical barriers and lowered search costs for consumers. The emerge of new markets, such as Internet search and online retail, that largely operates new business models focused on monetizing user data with advertisements whilst providing their service for ‘free’ to the consumer might make established competition enforcement tools difficult to use. Personalisation might blur transparency and make for a new kind of abusive behaviour, sorting consumer into separate markets based on personal data such as purchasing history and recent web searches. The recently released decision by the Commission in the Google Shopping case provide an insight into where competition law is moving in an online market environment. However, the Commissions decision provides far more questions than answers, especially when the principles of that decision is applied to the hypothetical case of Amazon’s online market. The look into Amazons online marketplace also hints towards the existence of a new type of abusive behaviour, where Amazon curates consumer choice within its marketplace with the possibility to deny its sellers competition on the merits of their offerings and its consumers of transparency. The thesis comes to the conclusion that reform is needed to bring legal certainty to this area of business and that perhaps the most powerful competition enforcement tool of the future is the General Data Protection Regulation. (Less)
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author
Renström, Nils LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20181
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EU law, Competition
language
English
id
8941763
date added to LUP
2018-06-08 14:00:40
date last changed
2018-06-08 14:00:40
@misc{8941763,
  abstract     = {We live an increasingly larger part of our lives online. The Internet has fundamentally changed how we find information, buy products, connect with friends and find entertainment such as video streaming and digital distribution of books. The Internet has changed the competitive landscape for many markets. Local sellers suddenly face competition from sellers around the globe, introducing more choice and added transparency. Online marketplaces, such as E-bay or Amazon, have more or less erased the former geographical barriers and lowered search costs for consumers. The emerge of new markets, such as Internet search and online retail, that largely operates new business models focused on monetizing user data with advertisements whilst providing their service for ‘free’ to the consumer might make established competition enforcement tools difficult to use. Personalisation might blur transparency and make for a new kind of abusive behaviour, sorting consumer into separate markets based on personal data such as purchasing history and recent web searches. The recently released decision by the Commission in the Google Shopping case provide an insight into where competition law is moving in an online market environment. However, the Commissions decision provides far more questions than answers, especially when the principles of that decision is applied to the hypothetical case of Amazon’s online market. The look into Amazons online marketplace also hints towards the existence of a new type of abusive behaviour, where Amazon curates consumer choice within its marketplace with the possibility to deny its sellers competition on the merits of their offerings and its consumers of transparency. The thesis comes to the conclusion that reform is needed to bring legal certainty to this area of business and that perhaps the most powerful competition enforcement tool of the future is the General Data Protection Regulation.},
  author       = {Renström, Nils},
  keyword      = {EU law,Competition},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Online challenges for EU competition policy - Analysis of the Google Shopping Decision},
  year         = {2018},
}