Privacy & Antitrust: "Integration", not just "Intersection"

CEPR Competition Policy Event 17 June 2021

15:00-18:00 BST / 16:00-19:00 CEST / 10:00-13:00 EDT

Privacy/data protection and antitrust enforcers continue to operate in silos: data protection agencies (supposedly) enforcing data protection rules, and antitrust agencies doing "market power" and traditional anticompetitive conduct. Yet market power allows violations of privacy and data protection, and those in turn entrench market power. Privacy experts deserve a place at the antitrust table to inform the analysis of mergers and conduct, to lessen consumer exploitation and discipline market power. We have long needed "integration", not just "intersection".

Is it starting to happen? The State AG complaints in the US against Facebook and Google are concerned with privacy degradation as monopoly rents, and discriminatory privacy changes as anticompetitive conduct.  There are calls for federal privacy regulation. In Europe, we have had the GDPR since 2018 but enforcement is lagging. Germany has been a pioneer with Facebook and new cases with a data focus being opened under the new competition law regime. France too. In the UK the competition and data protection agencies - CMA and ICO - just issued a joint statement setting out a "holistic" approach. This is unprecedented.

The newly launched CEPR Competition Policy RPN ( organized a discussion between senior antitrust regulators, privacy experts, and economists. In the first panel, privacy and data protection experts discussed some key insights for antitrust enforcers. The second panel discussed with antitrust leaders how these ideas are progressing in practice.

 Download the Speaker biographies 

 Watch the recordings below: 

Part 1: What are the Privacy Experts Seeing that the Antitrust Regulators are not?
This session laid out the data harms that arise from degraded privacy and data protection and how this maps into harm to consumers using the language of competition economics.

Johnny Ryan
Senior Fellow, Irish Council
for Civil Liberties

Simeon Thornton
Director, UK Competition and
Markets Authority

Dina Srinivasan
Thurman Arnold Project,
Yale University

Alessandro Acquisti
Professor, Information Technology & Public Policy,
Carnegie Mellon University

Jason Kint
CEO, Digital Content Next


Moderated by:

Gregory Crawford
University of Zurich, CEPR

Cristina Caffarra
Charles River Associates, CEPR

Part 2: What's the Progress on Integrating Antitrust & Privacy?
In this session, senior regulators joined the roundtable. Speakers gave their view on progress achieved and areas for improvement.

Andrea Coscelli CBE
Chief Executive, UK Competition
and Markets Authority

Rebecca Slaughter
Commissioner, US Federal Trade Commission

Elizabeth Denham CBE
UK Information Commissioner; 
Global Privacy Assembly Chair

Wojciech Wiewiórowski
European Data Protection Supervisor

Andreas Mundt
President, German Cartel Office

Chris D'Angelo
Chief Deputy Attorney General, Office of the New York Attorney General

Henri Piffaut
Vice President, French Competition Authority


Moderated by:

Cristina Caffarra
Charles River Associates, CEPR

Johnny Ryan
Senior Fellow, Irish Council
for Civil Liberties