1 year ago



118 Author’s reasoning

118 Author’s reasoning is clear – the identified concerns and unique features of the sharing economy deserve a greater attention from the regulatory and competition authorities. Effective regulatory framework for the sharing economy can only strengthen the innovative solutions 21 st century has to offer.

119 DOMINANT UNDERTAKINGS IN THE DIGITAL ERA: A CALL FOR EVOLUTION OF THE COMPETITION POLICY TOWARDS ARTICLE 102 TFEU? EVELIN HLINA ∗ In recent years, the impact of the ever-growing digitalisation received considerable attention by competition law enforcers. In particular, the strong market positions of certain ‘digital market champions” lead to debates whether competition policy as it stands today is capable of facing the challenges of the digital era. Indeed, 90% of all internet search queries in Europe are processed by Google, and Facebook receives 15 times as many clicks as other social networks. But might the significant market power of those undertakings be explained by the characteristics of two- or multisidedplatform markets, or rather by the fact that competition in the digital economy is different to the analogue world? This article examines whether there is a need to improve the current rules on abuse of dominance to face the challenges of digital markets, or whether competition policy has to be adapted regarding digital market champions. I. Introduction In the debate on how to face novel issues given rise by the digital economy, some believe that the European Commission (the ‘Commission’) should refrain from intervening in the fast-moving digital economy, since intervention would generally slow down innovation and outweigh possible benefits for consumers. Another group takes the view that the Commission might not be able to address issues on those markets efficiently enough and a stricter enforcement of competition law in digital markets in form of a new regulatory framework would be the best suited instrument to counteract market dominance in the digital economy. Yet others argue that the current ∗ Mag. Evelin Hlina LL.M. (Queen Mary University of London) is an associate at Schönherr Rechtsanwälte GmbH Vienna, Austria.