112.12.15 Insights on Digital Markets Regulations from Professor Ioannis Kokkoris, Queen Mary University of London

  • 2023-12-15
  • 陳一帆
Insights on Digital Markets Regulations from Professor Ioannis Kokkoris, Queen Mary University of London
Professor Ioannis Kokkoris, the distinguished Chair in Competition Law and Economics at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London, visited NCCU Colleges of Law and delivered a speech on 15th December 2023. The event, hosted by Professor Ting-Chi Liu, Professor Richard Li-Dar Wang, and the NCCU College of Law, delved into the crucial topic of "Digital Markets Regulation" under the development of the digital economy.

Professor Ioannis Kokkoris started the speech by asking everyone to picture this: you're about to embark on a scrolling adventure through Instagram's vibrant content, but first, a decision—do you log in using your trusty Facebook account, or do you prefer the classic email login? It's a seemingly small choice, but have you ever wondered why Meta nudges you toward the Facebook option? It turns out that by connecting your Instagram with a Facebook account, it creates a seamless bridge for Meta to know you better—your likes, who your friends are, what your friends like, and your favorite spots. With every click, your digital profile becomes a canvas, waiting to be painted with insights about you. So, Meta can craft a personalized experience and sell a bit of data to those advertisement providers. However, this kind of misconduct is soon prohibited, as Article 5 of the Digital Markets Act states that gatekeepers cannot combine or cross-use personal data and also need to allow businesses to promote offers and conclude contracts with end-users outside the platform.

But the intrigue doesn't stop at social media. Take a moment to consider your favorite music streaming platform, perhaps Spotify, and video games on smartphones like Epic Games. Did you know that, in the past, when you paid for your subscription, a chunk of a 30% cut went into Apple's pocket? It raises questions about fair competition and whether it's truly safer to pay on the App Store, as Apple claims.

And then, there's the giant in the room—Amazon. Instead of creating smartphone cases, Amazon produces batteries of its own brand. Have you ever thought about how they decide which products to manufacture and sell? It turns out that having access to confidential sales data on products like batteries from Panasonic, Toshiba, and Duracell gives Amazon a competitive edge. This is because Amazon can easily determine whether a product is profitable enough. However, under Article 6 of the Digital Markets Act, gatekeepers are obligated not to use data that is generated by business users and is not publicly available for any purpose.
In conclusion, as EU Digital Markets Regulations are the first comprehensive legal framework to regulate digital gatekeepers with the aim of making platform markets fairer and more contestable, other countries like Taiwan, Australia, Japan, Korea, and more all follow the path. For those interested in further exploration of these topics, Professor Kokkoris recommended Queen Mary University's LL.M. program, where students can engage in in-depth research, including specialization in competition law. 
At the end of the session, Professor Richard Li-Dar Wang briefly introduced Queen Mary University of London. Queen Mary University of London is renowned for its diverse academic offerings, providing a broad spectrum of courses and degrees to cater to various interests and career paths. Among the many specialized LL.M. programs, students have the opportunity to delve into fields such as LL.M. in commercial and corporate law, competition law, computer and communications Law, energy and natural resources law, and environmental law. He also encouraged students to take relevant courses in NCCU like Comparative Study on the Liabilities of New Media Platforms lectured by Professor Ting-Chi Liu and E-Commerce and Internet Law lectured by Professor Richard Li-Dar Wang. 

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