Professor Sandra Wachter, Associate Professor, Oxford Internet Institutesupplementary written evidence (FEO0101)


Follow-up from oral evidence session on 23 February 2021



In relation to your last question: Should regulators have the power to compel dominant platforms to help smaller rivals to develop their algorithms?


I think that competition law can help us in this regard. It would be a good way to keep monopolies in check and foster healthy competition in the market. However this is not without challenges. The traditional ways of assessing the relevant market and market power (i.e. one market, one price)  are not well equipped to evaluate the versatile nature of tech companies that can often operate in more than one sector and often offer “free products”.  Strategies such as pre-emptive mergers or tacit algorithmic collusion are also not accounted for in traditional competition law. It will be important to take this into consideration when applying the law and think about creative ways to tackle this challenge.


I hope this is helpful. If you or any members of the Committee have any further question, please do let me know, I will be happy to answer any follow-up queries.



24 February 2021