Workshop: Smart data and Competition Law

It is said that data is the new oil; that competition is (partially) dead because big data creates barriers to entry to the digital markets, preventing companies from effectively competing with tech giants. As a result, it has been proposed that the very nature of the dominant positions in the digital markets is fundamentally different than those of the past decades. The urgent response by competition agencies is thus required.

However, this understanding of the way digital services are built might be incomplete, and in order to assess it, one must start by answering the following question: isn’t the processing of data more crucial to competition analysis than the amount of the data itself?

Indeed, one company’s ability to process (big) data in real time so to propose a better and personalized service to its users does seem to be essential to its survival. But does that mean that it constitutes a barrier to entry the market? Can this advantage over competitors be maintained despite their technological advances? Do competition agencies have a role to play in this regard?

These questions are key to understanding the competition of tomorrow, and yet, are barely discussed. This workshop, dedicated to the subject and built as a real dialogue, aims at providing with a better understanding of what smart data is, to what extent it provides companies with a competitive advantage and/or constitutes a barrier to entry the market, and what should be the role of competition agencies’ on this matter.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Freek Bruggert (ACM)
  • Pedro Caro de Sousa (OECD)
  • Anna Gerbrandy (Utrecht Law School)
  • Geoffrey Manne (ICLE)
  • Thibault Schrepel (Utrecht Law School)
  • Simonetta Vezzoso (Trento University)

Limited number of seats available. To ask for an invitation, send an e-mail to by mentioning “Smart data and Competition Law workshop” in the subject line.

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