Digital Platforms and Markets
Antitrust and regulation in the digital economy
Objective: to strengthen the antitrust debate in Brazil regarding the role of personal data and foster decentralization policies of the digital economy.
Duration: July 2020 - July 2023
Status: Em Andamento
Supporter(s): Open Society Foundations
Antitrust and Data Protection is a project that starts from the premise that the Brazilian antitrust legislation and practice are outdated and do not contemplate the advances of the 21st-century economy. In partnership with the Brazilian Institute for Consumer Protection (IDEC), it seeks to foster a plural debate on antitrust in Brazil and encourage policies to decentralize the digital economy, strengthening fairer market practices and considering the role of personal data in the development of these activities.
Specifically, this project starts from the premise that the Brazilian Antitrust Authority (CADE) suffers from a problem of inadequacy and insufficiency of legal rules. The country’s antitrust laws were built on a typical 20th-century industrial economy and thus there is a departure from the reality of platform economies and multifaceted economies. This legal legacy problem is linked to the lack of political will to renew the competition law repertoire: CADE representatives expressed their opposition to define relevant markets based on data and to identify violations of privacy and protection of personal data. The body alleged, fundamentally, lack of competence and technicality to deal with these issues. This posture does not seem to keep pace with changes in competition strategies of market agents and discussions on abuse of dominant positions, both based on data.
Thus, this project seeks to raise awareness of the thesis that the privacy variable is inseparable from a complete and comprehensive economic analysis in mergers and acquisitions cases. Along the same line, it also aims to investigate the limits of antitrust regarding abuses of market power and problems of high concentration, fostering the debate on economic regulation as a solution to the problem of high concentration in the digital economy.
To contribute to the popularization of this discussion in Brazil, aiming at the dissemination in strategic spaces of regulatory decisions, the project uses multiple approaches, such as the elaboration of robust research on mergers based on data; dissemination of relevant content on the subject to a wider audience, including through the translation of materials on the subject; the creation of a course for the legal community and studies on international legislation to better understand if these standards would fit the Brazilian scenario.