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Announcement:  Competition Law and Policy in Digital Economy Workshop in Brazil

Announcement: Competition Law and Policy in Digital Economy Workshop in Brazil

25.07.2019
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The workshop is co-organised by the BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre, CLES@UCL and Insper. Participants will discuss interim stage of the preparation of the report on "Antimonopoly Regulation in the Digital Economy", which will be presented in September 2019 as part of the BRICS International Competition Conference. 

The aim of the workshop is to discuss in an informal setting the issues raised by the development of digital economy and the rise of digital platforms and what would be the appropriate competition law and policy in this context.

After a short introduction of the project, we will open the floor to a roundtable discussion of various themes that we consider are crucial to the proper understanding of the interests involved and the difficult trade-offs to be made (see the Workshop Programme Description attached).

Description

The first part of our discussion will focus on global competition in the broader sectors of the digital economy and the role of Brazilian players, large firms or start-ups in this global competition. We will examine a number of issues, including the following:

  • Is competition taking place in markets or broader ecosystems?
  • What are the most frequent types of contracts linking app developers with digital platforms? How are digital value chains organised?
  • Is competition horizontal (between firms producing substitutable products) or also vertical (between firms that are situated in complementary market segments)?
  • Are the boundaries between the different industries moving? Is potential competition coming from industry players or also from players from other industries or BigTech?
  • What is the main source of competitive advantage in the digital economy? Domain expertise or access to data and algorithmic capability?
  • Is access to data essential? Is access to data easy? What type of data are the more important?
  • Is Big Data or Smart Data/Algorithms the main source of competitive advantage?
  • What type of infrastructure is critical for the development of the digital economy in Brazil? Who controls it?
  • Are you employing any form of algorithmic pricing? Is it dynamic?
  • Do you collect data for a specific purpose or only just in case?
  • What do you do with the data you collect? Are you using this for improving your own product by ‘personalising’ it? Delivering algorithmic services to other firms? Selling this to intermediaries in data markets?
  • Do you think that all digital markets lead to ‘winner takes most (or all) competition’?
  • What are the prospects for the development of the Internet of Things in Brazil and which are the main barriers faced by firms for their local and global expansion?
  • What are the prospects for the development of Industry 4.0 in Brazil and which are the main barriers faced by firms for their local and global expansion?

The second part will focus on the broader legal and regulatory framework, and in particular the role of competition law. We will explore a number of issues, including the following:

  • Do you think that the current legal and regulatory framework is sufficient to deal with the social costs of the digital transformation? If not, what would be the reforms you would suggest?
  • Would you be in favour, or not, of stronger data protection rules?
  • Would you be in favour of designing property rights or some form of sui generis rights on personal data?
  • Would you be in favour of designing property rights or some form of sui generis rights on non-personal data?
  • Do you think that the current competition law is adequate for the challenges of the digital economy? Which changes should be brought to the law?
  • Do you consider that the level of competition law enforcement in digital markets is adequate?
  • Have you made any submissions in the context of recent competition law reforms? Do you feel that these were these taken into account?
  • Do you consider that there should be a separate field of law (and authority) overseeing platform to business relations in order to ensure that these are fair?
  • Do you consider that public authorities should promote collective bargaining between gig economy workers and digital platforms, or media/news companies and digital platforms, rather than intervene to limit the power of digital platforms?

Programme


14.00 Coffee break and welcome by Paulo Furquium de Azevedo and Caio Mario da Silva Pereira Neto

14.30 Presentation of the Competition Law in the Digital era BRICS Competition Law and Policy Project by Ioannis Lianos, UCL & BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre

14.50 Part I: Understanding Competition in the Digital Economy
A free discussion chaired by Paulo Furquium de Azevedo

16.15 Coffee Break

16.35 Part II: Do we need a new competition law and regulatory framework? Interaction of competition law with data protection and other regulatory fields

A free discussion chaired by Caio Mario da Silva Pereira Neto

18.45 Concluding remarks by Paulo Furquium de Azevedo, Caio Mario da Silva Pereira Neto & Alexey Ivanov

19.00 Reception