Interoperability and Data Sharing: An Antitrust Remedy in Search of a Market Problem?
Data portability has been a hot topic of late, from GDPR to CCPA to the FTC’s recent Data to Go Workshop. To some, data portability is a consumer right to access and move individual data. For others, data portability means the sharing of larger swaths of data with other services and platforms to lower entry barriers to effective competition.
Although both forms of portability aim to enhance consumer welfare and increase competition, data portability raises a host of issues, such as privacy protection, data security, and intellectual property rights. Additionally, there is evidence that data portability mandates, when used as a competition remedy, is costly, ineffective, and may reduce business incentives, and could entrench incumbents by making it difficult for smaller competitors to change their services and modernize their products.
This comes as many competition agencies and legislatures alike are considering interoperability and data portability mandates to increase competition. And, Congress is set to release a report with recommendations for reducing the market power of online platforms, which may include these mandates.
The Regulatory Transparency Project explored the hot topic of data portability over the course of a two-part virtual panel series entitled, “Data Portability Mandates, Consumer Privacy Protections, and Competition Law.” The first panel discussed the consumer protection and privacy implications of data portability, and this panel turned to the use of portability and interoperability mandates in competition law.
Jay Ezrielev, Founder and Managing Principal, Elevecon LLC
Bruce Hoffman, Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Alex Petros, Policy Counsel, Public Knowledge
[Moderator] Ashley Baker, Director of Public Policy, Committee for Justice