Competition, fundamental rights and power in the digital age | Digital Constitutionalism Seminar


MediaLaws is sharing the video of the event “Competition, fundamental rights and power in the digital age”, held on the 12th of June, and organised by the research groups IALC Algorithmis State, Market and Society and ICON-S Digital Constitutionalism and in collaboration with, among others, MediaLaws.

To the seminar took part Marco Botta, EUI, Ines Neves, University of Porto/ Morais Leitão, Kati Seres, University of Amsterdam, Katarzyna Sadrak, European Commission. The event was chaired by Giovanni De Gregorio, Católica Global School of Law, and Alba Ribera Martinez, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

The workshop explored the tensions of the digital age, precisely addressing how to balance competition in the online market with protecting fundamental rights.

On one hand, competition law is seen as a crucial tool to ensure a healthy digital market. It is argued that strong competition benefits consumers. However, a singular focus on competition can overshadow other important rights.

It is emphasized that competition law shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. It is proposed to interpret it alongside principles like sustainable development and acknowledging companies’ social role, not just their economic function.

This perspective aligns with the idea of digital constitutionalism, a concept that is explored. It is argued that competition law already acts as a check on private power, similar to a constitution. However, enforcing competition law in the digital world is tricky. Speakers acknowledge the need for expertise but warn against concentrating too much power in the hands of enforcers.

Here is the link to the workshop recording.

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