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Consumer data in online markets

Digital applications now cover many aspects of our everyday lives and firms have access to much more data about us than they ever have had. Whilst this has led to positive changes in many markets and sectors across the economy it has raised concerns, including about privacy.

This economic paper by Oxera explores how the use of consumer data affects consumers across a broad range of markets through competition and privacy outcomes. A high concentration of data residing with a few firms could represent a barrier to entry, limiting competition. Firms might also fail to provide consumers with adequate transparency and control over how data is collected and used.

This report discusses the impact of consumer data on both existing and new services, summarises the economic characteristics of data, develops a framework for assessing the competition and consumer impact of data use, and explores the tension between competition and privacy in online advertising. We commissioned Oxera to look at these issues and explore three questions:

  • What is the nature of this data?
  • How is it changing existing business models and creating new ones?
  • What does this mean for competition and consumers?
Consumer data in online markets 582 Kb | 05 Jun 2018