The two regulatory regimes that are at the core of this thesis are EU data protection regulation, which protects individuals’ fundamental rights over data, and EU competition law, which safeguards the sound functioning of the market and consumers’ economic interests. Despite the existence of these two regulatory regimes, individuals do not have sufficient control over personal data collected by digital firms, whose control over large datasets is a factor contributing to market monopolisation.
The thesis argues that one reason for the shortcomings of today’s regulatory framework is that the market failure is composed of a combination of factors, which are currently addressed by the different regimes relatively independently. This dichotomy hinders the development of an effective strategy to tackle the market failure in its entirety.
The approach taken in this thesis is that by integrating the two regimes, it might be possible to close the gaps deriving from a narrow perception of their regulatory spaces. Hence, the thesis formulates a holistic approach, encompassing data protection regulation and competition law, designed to increase the effectiveness of the regulatory framework as a whole. Different dimensions of the regimes’ interrelation are analysed, to uncover new ways to harness their complementarity and minimise their inconsistencies and overlaps.
The thesis looks at how the regimes can incorporate elements from each other to inform their policies and application of their rules, as well as developing a complementary enforcement strategy. The holistic framework ultimately allows both regimes to better tailor their regulatory responses to the functioning of the digital market and take account of the diverse elements that constitute the market failure they seek to correct.
Please register by 5 July 2021. Registered participants will receive the Zoom link shortly before the thesis defence.