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04/09/18
 

The Israel Antitrust Authority has published a call for comments, regarding competition in the digital/internet economy

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Date of Publication:
04/09/2018

September 4, 2018

-press release-

The Israel Antitrust Authority has published a call for comments, regarding competition in the digital/internet economy

Today the Antitrust Authority (IAA) has published a call for comments on competition in the internet/digital economy. The aim of the call for comments is to receive input from the public, including start-up companies and leading and established companies in the high-tech sector, regarding contemporary issues in competition as they relate to the online world.

Some examples of sectors that are tied to the internet or digital economy include digital platforms, search engines, social networks (both personal and professional), the provision of goods and services via the internet, end-user devices which combine hardware with connected or cloud services, etc.

The internet economy is now a part of daily life for the public at large and has recently received increasing attention. Public discourse regarding the regulation of the online sphere has focused, inter alia¸ on questions of privacy and the social effects of internet services. However, the unique characteristics of the online world have effects on competition as well.

In order to examine these effects, the IAA intends to carry out a research project on the subject. Therefore, the IAA would like to hear from interested members of the public. Specifically, the IAA is interested in examining the unique aspects of the online world in the Israeli economy, and the interface between these aspects and competition policy.

Today, the IAA is publishing a document that lays out the issues to be examined. As part of it, the public is requested to comment on 4 main questions:

{C}{C}{C}1.     {C}{C}{C}The first question deals with merger control. As part of it, comment is requested on the question of whether scrutiny should be increased on mergers involving large tech firms, on the effects of such increased scrutiny on competition, and on the incentives to invest in the technology sector.

{C}{C}{C}2.     {C}{C}{C}The second question deals with the methods of competition analysis in digital sectors of the economy, and specifically regarding market definitions and market power.

{C}{C}{C}3.     {C}{C}{C}The third question deals with the competitive effects of behavioral conditions which may limit the behavior of dominant firms, such as a requirement to allow access to outside developers (APIs), databases, etc.

{C}{C}{C}4.     {C}{C}{C}The fourth question deals with the importance of access to data in the digital sector ("big data") and to the question of how, if at all, should competition authorities deal with the threat of market foreclosure as a result of competitive advantages which arise from access to data.

A detailed description of the questions and explanations may be found in the call for comments at http://www.antitrust.gov.il/digitaleconomy

The Israel Antitrust Authority involves any member of the public who is interested in providing their comments on the issues and questions raised in the call for comment to do so via email at digitaleconomy@aa.gov.il , by 30/11/2018.