Digital Economy, Data, and Dominance: An Indian Perspective
The emergence of data as an asset for firms in the digital era has raised several issues before competition enforcement authorities. This research article focuses on the role of data in platform markets. After discussing the significance and importance of data in the multi-sided markets and its procurement by platforms for their competitive advantage in the market, the authors point out the issues of network effects, economies of scale, positive feedback loop, etc., and how they create an entry barrier, ultimately harming competition in the market. The authors have also discussed the concerns relating to the definition of the relevant market in platform economies and the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) take on online and brick-and-mortar markets, tools used for defining relevant market, and how they are not very effective in this market. The final leg of the article discusses the impact of the data market on creating datapolies by amassing huge amounts of data and creating monopolies, making it tough for other players to survive or for new players to enter the market. The paper discusses the role of CCI, the European Commission, and other jurisdictions in tackling such situations, and the landmark judgements passed by them regarding these datapolies sums up authorities’ stand on tackling issues in the market mostly governed by data.
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