The right sort of competition

What is competition policy for?

Wrestling with reality

  • Network effects and economies of scale — where a platform’s power increases with the number of people using the platform, making it effectively invincible.
  • Unequal access to user data — “digital platforms collect vast quantities of unique user data, which gives them a significant competitive advantage when providing data-driven services”.
  • Consumer decision making and the power of defaults — where platforms’ control over default settings effectively gives them control over what choices consumers are presented with; which may be used to “influence the platform’s ability to collect users’ data”.
  • Lack of transparency around complex decision-making algorithms.
  • The importance of ecosystems — where large collections of integrated, complementary products and services are designed in a way that favours the firm’s own services.

What we said

Joining the dots

  • Data: A New Deal consultation to reform data protection regulations
  • National Data Strategy
  • Single Login for Government
  • National Identity and Attributes Trust Framework
  • Open Finance
  • Pensions Dashboard programme
  • Modernisation of Lasting Power of Attorney
  • NHS consultation on data sharing
  • Scottish Attribute Provider Service




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