L’erompere dei poteri privati nei mercati digitali e le incertezze della regolazione antitrust

in Osservatorio sulle fonti n. 2/2021

Today, the rise of new private powers in the digital environment – the large online platforms that are the masters of the world’s most intelligent algorithms – is transforming markets, overturning established paradigms and forcing the legal system, at times, to use old instruments for new purposes, at other times to devise entirely new ones. In the fourth industrial revolution, the most traditional concepts of antitrust law, once transplanted into the digital environment, seem to be unstable. Consider the notion of consumer welfare, the definition of the relevant market, market power, abuse of dominant position, all of which are being challenged globally: antitrust law seems to be shaken from its foundations. It is not able to prevent the formation of monopolies and has to link up with other regulatory systems, especially data protection regulations, to combat new concentrations of power. But if a battle against Big Tech is to be fought, antitrust law needs to regain its authentic constitutional foundation, which combines the protection of the economic efficiency of the market with the protection of equality and freedom.

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