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In the February issue of Competition Policy International’s (CPI’s) Antitrust Chronicle, NERA Senior Managing Director James Mellsop, Director John Scalf, and Senior Consultant Veronica Postal explore the strategic significance of data in the digital economy.

The authors reflect on evolving guidelines from the FTC and DOJ and offer insight into how we might navigate the balance between fostering innovation and ensuring competitive fairness in today’s increasingly data-centric markets.

In the article, they examine recent enforcement actions and investigations to explore three theories of harm:

  1. The accumulation and control of large datasets could increase the market power of entrenched firms;
  2. Consumers may be harmed by the potential misuse of their personal data by companies with market power; and
  3. One company may gain access to a large amount of sensitive data on competitors’ operations.

The authors unpack the economic principals underlying these theories to create a foundation for antitrust frameworks that address the objective of fostering innovation against the backdrop of increasingly data-centric markets.