Monetary Remedies for Zero-Price Privacy Regulation

20 October 2021
Dr. Andrew Stivers

Economists often argue that monetary remedies for competition or consumer protection law violations should be tied, at least proportionally, to the welfare effects of those violations. Zero-price goods and services potentially create a problem for regulators interested in crafting monetary remedies that are deterrent, efficient, and inexpensive to implement in that they prevent the use of an easy proxy for injury or gain.

Associate Director Dr. Andrew Stivers examines regulatory choices for monetary remedies in the context of zero-price privacy and data security practices in a CPI Antitrust Chronicle article titled, “Monetary Remedies for Zero-Price Privacy Regulation: An Economic Perspective.” The article lays out the economic framework consistent with a broad range of potential harms and argues that failing to provide any link or guidance between these remedies and the welfare effects of the practices in question will create opportunity for regulatory capture or improper political influence, muddying the deterrent signal to potential violators.