Disruptive technologies and the impact on Modern Bigness: how should European competition law respond?
PhD student: Mrs L.M.F. Hummel
Promotor: Mrs Prof A. Gerbrandy
Duration: 1/8/2020 - 31/7/2024
Lately, Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook have garnered much attention as the new monopolies of the 21st century. Using innovative technologies enabling them to gather large amounts of consumer data, they have been able to steadily grow larger in their own respective markets and were able to enter (and conquer) new markets. Recently, it has been argued that these new market powers are detrimental to competition in these markets and competition law should intervene. Big Tech does not agree. Their top management teams have repeatedly stated not to have a dominant position in the market. And according to them, even if they would have a dominant position, they are constantly threatened by entrants to their markets using - amongst others - new technologies to threaten the market position of Big Tech. Thus, in the opinion of Big Tech, competition is still abundantly present in their markets. In the Modern Bigness project (MOBI-project), Big Tech is hypothesized to be a new market power: Modern Bigness. The central question in the project is whether and if so, how, European competition law should respond to this new type of market power. As a part of the MOBI-project, this PhD focuses on the question whether these central tenets of the MOBI-project are correct. Disruptive technologies are hypothesized to enable entrants to challenge Modern Bigness in their respective markets. The PhD candidate will research whether this is true and if so, whether European competition law still needs to respond (differently) to the alleged dominant positions of Big Tech companies.