Big data: Bringing competition policy to the digital era


The exponential growth of the digital economy has enabled the rise of business models based on the collection and processing of “Big Data”. The use of big data by firms for the development of products, processes and forms of organisation has the potential to generate substantial efficiency and productivity gains, for instance by improving decision-making, forecasting and allowing for better consumer segmentation and targeting. However, acquiring the necessary size to benefit from economies of scale and scope and network effects related to Big Data may potentially lead to monopoly positions, further enhanced through mergers of smaller, new providers of services that do not at first glance appear to be in the same market.

In November 2016, the OECD held a hearing discussion on Big Data to explore the implications on competition authorities' work and whether competition law is the appropriate tool for dealing with issues arising from the use Big Data.


Full list of Competition Policy Roundtables

OECD Handbook on Competition Policy in the Digital Age


VIDEO: Ginger Jin on Big Data and Competition


Key documents

Executive summary with key findings • Synthèse des points clés de la discussion 

Background paper by the Secretariat • Note de référence du Secrétariat • ppt 

Detailled summary of the discussion •  Compte rendu detaillé de la discussion 



Pannelists and Papers

Annabelle GAWER Bio
Professor of Digital Economy,  University of Surrey, UK 
presenting Competition policy and regulatory reforms for big data: Propositions to harness the power of big data while curbing platforms’ abuse of dominance 

Geoffrey MANNE Bio
Founder and Executive Director, International Center for Law and Economics, US

Maurice STUCKE Bio

Professor of Law, University of Tennessee, US 

Professor, Berkeley School of Information, US 

Managing Partner, Brussels office, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Paper by BIAC 



Alec Burnside, Cadwalader


OECD Handbook on Competition Policy in the Digital Age

Competition, digital economy and innovation, 2016 • Concurrence, économie numérique et innovation, 2016

Data-driven innovation: Big data for growth and well-being, 2015

Cloud computing: The concept, impacts and the role of government policy, 2014

Exploring data-driven innovation as a new source of growth: Mapping the policy issues raised by 'Big Data', 2013

Exploring the economics of personal data: A survey of methodologies for measuring monetary value, 2013


Access the full list of Competition Policy Roundtables

Link to the  OECD Competition Home Page 



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