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Family ties: the intersection between data protection and competition in EU Law

Costa-Cabral, Francisco and Lynskey, Orla (2017) Family ties: the intersection between data protection and competition in EU Law. Common Market Law Review, 54 (1). 11 - 50. ISSN 0165-0750

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Identification Number: 10.54648/cola2017002


Personal data has become the object of trade in the digital economy, and companies compete to acquire and process this data. This rivalry is subject to the application of competition law. However, personal data also has a dignitary dimension which is protected through data protection law and the EU Charter rights to data protection and privacy. This paper maps the relationship between these legal frameworks. It identifies the commonalities that facilitate their intersection, whilst acknowledging their distinct methods and aims. It argues that when the material scope of these legal frameworks overlap, competition law can incorporate data protection law as a normative yardstick when assessing non-price competition. Data protection can thus act as an internal constraint on competition law. In addition, it advocates that following the legal and institutional changes brought about by the Lisbon Treaty, data protection and other fundamental rights also exercise an external constraint on competition law and, in certain circumstances, can prevent or shape its application. As national and supranational regulators grapple with the challenge of developing a dynamic information economy that respects fundamental rights, recognition of these constraints would pave the way for a more coherent EU law approach to a digital society.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Kluwer Law International
Divisions: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2016 12:39
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2024 06:03

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