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Title: The enforcement of Article 102 TFEU in online markets : online platforms, Big Data and the intersection between competition, data protection and consumer protection law
Author: Llanos Morales, Jose Tomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 9674
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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The majority of online products and services, such as search engines, social networks, digital maps and electronic communications apps, are offered free of charge. But there is a catch. In exchange for the use of their 'free' services, online firms collect their users' personal data and process it for myriad of commercial purposes. The ability of firms to collect vast amounts of data and process them through sophisticated algorithms to reveal patterns, trends and associations (Big Data) has opened new routes for dominant firms to abuse their market power, and at the same time, has given rise to pressing online privacy and consumer protection issues which, whilst falling outside the scope of competition law, have nevertheless an impact on the competitive process in online markets. The aim of this thesis is to uphold the importance of Article 102 TFEU enforcement for the healthy operation of competition in online markets. To this effect, it explores recent proposals for the passing of a new sector-specific regulation applicable to online platforms and for lax antitrust enforcement in the digital economy, exposes their flaws, and demonstrates that the enforcement of Article 102 TFEU can be flexible enough to account for the challenges posed by online markets. The key is to identify the features that differentiate online competition from competition as traditionally conceived in competition analysis, and to determine how such differences translate into new emphases, tests and approaches. In addition, acknowledging the interrelated nature of competition, data protection and consumer protection issues that arise from data-driven competition, this thesis proposes the creation of a new category of abuse of dominance based on infringements of data protection and consumer protection law, when such infringements are linked to the infringer's dominant position, adversely affect innovation and choice, and/or derive in the exploitation of consumers.
Supervisor: Jones, Alison Irene Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available