Antitrust, Big Tech and Democracy

What role can competition law play when it is faced with democratic deficits in digital markets? In the twenty-first century, voter choice and the broader political debate are within the reach of those that can access and channel the vast streams of user data that are generated online. How digital platforms utilize personal user data to influence the outcome of democratic processes has become a central issue that liberal democracies must confront. In her recent paper, Vicky Robertson explores whether competition law has a role to play when it comes to addressing this intersection of Big Tech, data, and democracy. Should democratic values simply be reflected in the procedural set-up of antitrust law, or is there a role for democratic values in the substantive provisions as well? And if so, does antitrust law’s focus on keeping market power in check suffice to fulfill its role in a democratic society, or does this role require the law to specifically target antidemocratic market behavior as anticompetitive harm? In navigating these questions, her paper contributes to the ongoing debate on political antitrust and sets out an ambitious research agenda on how to carry this discussion forward. You can access the open access paper in The Antitrust Bulletin.


The World’s First Green Antitrust Provision

In a blogpost on ProMarket, Vicky Robertson discusses what led to the world’s first sustainability exemption in Austrian competition law, how it applies, and how this antitrust provision might have spillover effects on other antitrust jurisdictions. You can access the blogpost here.

smart technologies handbook 2

Antitrust Law and Digital Markets

The newly published Routledge Handbook of Smart Technologies contains Vicky Robertson’s account of ‘Antitrust Law and Digital Markets’. The chapter traces the manifold challenges that competition law encounters in digital markets, and how competition law practice is attempting to solve them. You can access it here.


Media Pluralism and Independence

In her latest article published in the Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, Klaudia Majcher analyses two recent Polish merger transactions and their impact on media pluralism and freedom. It can be accessed here.


Competition Law in Austria

Viktoria Robertson’s new book on the substantive and procedural competition law rules was just published in Kluwer Law’s International Encylcopaedia of Laws series. It is available here.


State Aid and COVID-19

In the recent EStAL issue, Petar Petrov discusses the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on air transportation and the provided state aid in this context. Find the article here.

Bild Hub-Webseite eSports

eSports – Regulating Aspiring Gatekeepers?

Are new gatekeeper regulations fit for purpose and how can understanding eSports help in regulating digital markets? Find out more in Fabian Ziermann’s blog post here.