Access to big data as a remedy in big tech

Competition Law Journal

As potential antitrust issues related to big data and big tech gain more attention, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has expressed concern that major platforms such as Google are protected from competition by incumbency advantages, due, in part, to their control over substantial amounts of data. In “Access to big data as a remedy in big tech,” published in the Competition Law Journal, Analysis Group Vice Presidents Joshua White and Nick Dadson and Manager Iain Snoddy examine whether Google’s ability to control access to its click-and-query data is a barrier to effective competition. Click-and-query data contain information on what users search for and how they interact with the search engine results.

In the article, the authors discuss criteria from EU jurisprudence for determining whether data are an essential facility; actual and potential alternatives to Google’s data that are available to competitors; and objective reasons Google might limit access to its data, including privacy concerns. Ultimately, the authors conclude that Google Search click-and-query data are unlikely to be an essential facility, detailing both reasonable alternatives and obstacles to direct access.

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Dadson N, Snoddy I, White J