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EU antitrust enforcement 2.0 – European Commission raises concerns about algorithms and encourages individual whistleblowers

17 March 2017

Antitrust Competition and Economic Regulation Alert

The European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has emphasised two important developments for EU antitrust enforcement, which have emerged from technological advancements:

  • The Commission is taking proactive steps to consider whether the increasing reliance on computers to handle business processes and decisions raises competition law issues.  One area of current concern is the use of algorithms, in particular whether algorithms may be being used illegally to establish cartels or make them more effective. 
  • The Commission wants to improve its methods for cartel detection. In addition to companies' cooperation through leniency applications, it wants to encourage individual whistleblowers to come forward anonymously. The Commission yesterday launched a new messaging system that will improve the opportunities for individuals to provide information to the Commission about anti-competitive behaviour and safeguard their anonymity. 

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