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Big Data, Competition and Market Power


  • Marco GAMBARO


Big data are considered ate same time a promising driver of economic development and a concern for possible manipulation and privacy intrusion. Data diffusion and their uncertain appropriability can make property rights for data less precise. The paper reviews some economic features of data. In many digital markets data can be considered a relevant input but hardly an essential facility. Many data are collected in two-sided market platform and in one side they are used to personalize services and to add quality while on the other side of the platform they contribute to make advertising collection more efficient. So the transfer of personal data can be considered an implicit price for many free information services. Consumers usually are unaware of subsequent pervasive use of their personal data, and therefore give away easily their data. Big data can amplify competitive advantages and related dominant positions, leveraging on information asymmetries. A dominant position obtained through collection and processing of big amount of personal data allow practices such as first degree price discrimination, personalized advertising, artificial degradation of services that sometimes can be considered competitive abuse, but it is difficult that data alone allow such position.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco GAMBARO, 2017. "Big Data, Competition and Market Power," Departmental Working Papers 2017-15, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Universit√† degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2017-15

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    Big data; Data protection; Personal data; Privacy; Value of data; Value of privacy; Relevant market for data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • K24 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Cyber Law
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • L44 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Antitrust Policy and Public Enterprise, Nonprofit Institutions, and Professional Organizations


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