DP14475 European Privacy Law and Global Markets for Data

Author(s): Michail Batikas, Stefan Bechtold, Tobias Kretschmer, Christian Peukert
Publication Date: March 2020
Keyword(s): Antitrust, Brussels effect, competition policy, compliance risk, cookies, GDPR, Internet regulation, privacy, web tracking
JEL(s): K21, L12, L15, L86
Programme Areas: Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14475

We demonstrate how privacy law interacts with competition and trade policy in the context of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We follow more than 110,000 websites for 18 months to show that websites reduced their connections to web technology providers after GDPR became effective, especially regarding requests involving personal data. This also holds for websites catering to non-EU audiences and therefore not bound by GDPR. We further document an increase in market concentration in web technology services after the introduction of GDPR. While most firms lose market share, the leading firm, Google, significantly increases market share.