Publication: Antitrust and Digital Platforms: An Analysis of Global Patterns and Approaches by Competition Authorities

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The pace at which markets are evolving, thanks to the accelerated adoption of digital technologies, poses important challenges to competition law and its enforcement. This work aims to support this process by building an understanding of the experiences of competition authorities in deciding on competition enforcement cases in the digital economy. This note analyzes the global digital antitrust database of the markets, competition, and technology unit (the MCT DAD or the database) and provides a summary of key patterns and trends in antitrust in the digital economy (and specifically in relation to digital platforms firms). This database aims to be a holistic source of information on abuse of dominance, anticompetitive agreements, and merger cases involving digital platforms, which have been finalized by antitrust authorities worldwide. It also identifies some risks to competition arising from various digital platform business models in different sectors and generates learnings for antitrust authorities globally on the approach to assessing such cases. The analysis contributes to the discussion and learning on competition assessments in the digital economy. The data also show how different sectors may be prone to different types of anticompetitive behavior, depending on the typical business models of digital platforms. Antitrust authorities in less developed countries should be encouraged to participate more actively in the debate on data protection and privacy as a dimension of competition. Finally, authorities should continue to strive to make their decisions public and provide clarity about the factors justifying their decisions.
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World Bank. 2021. Antitrust and Digital Platforms: An Analysis of Global Patterns and Approaches by Competition Authorities. Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Insight;. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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