An Updated Competition Framework to Address the Challenges of the Digital Economy

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In the recent years, the advent of the digital economy has brought additional challenges for competition authorities and companies in their competition law and economic assessments. There is a consensus that there is a need to review and update the current framework and to give to the European Commission the necessary tools to intervene in digital markets.

As part of this review, the GSMA has submitted together with ETNO and on behalf of the European mobile and fixed telecom operators, a joint response to DG Competition’s consultation on a New Competition Tool.

Our main positions are:

  • The existing competition framework is still fit for purpose but needs to be updated to be able to address the challenges brought by the digital economy. We kindly request the Commission to continue with its ongoing review of existing rules and tools review before introducing additional tools.
  • We therefore invite the Commission to strengthen some of its existing powers, e.g. sector enquiries and interim measures, so to be able to use them more frequently and more incisively.
  • Structural competition problems mentioned in the questionnaire relate to large digital actors. The specific innovative measures contemplated in the consultation document, if any, should therefore be imposed to such actors only provided that existing (or new, less invasive tools) have proven to be insufficient.
  • Should the Commission decide to already introduce a New Competition Tool it should:
    • be limited to address the structural problems deriving from large online platforms acting as gatekeepers; and
    • include an adequate system of checks and balances to provide market actors with the appropriate certainty and rights of defence.

David Walsh, GSMA’s General Counsel said: “An updated competition framework would provide the guidance and legal certainty that the industry needs. We welcome the Commission’s efforts to improve and update the current rules and look forward to support the Commission throughout this process.”

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For more information please contact:

Maria Sendin Valle

Antitrust Counsel, GSMA

Maria Sendin Valle

As Antitrust Counsel Maria provides advice and counsel to GSMA departments on all aspects of antitrust law and policy. Additionally, Maria follows antitrust policy and enforcement developments in the world with a particular focus in Europe and the European Union Institutions.

Before joining the GSMA in 2017, Maria worked for a Public Affairs consultancy in Brussels, where she developed and implemented public affairs, communications and public relations campaigns for clients in the technology, competition and social affairs sectors. Maria moved to Brussels in 2012 to work for the European Commission Competition department and prior to that worked as a competition and EU lawyer for an international law firm in Madrid (Spain).

Maria has a Bachelor degree in Law, a Bachelor degree in Economics and a Masters Degree in EU and Competition law by Carlos III University of Madrid. She is a native Spanish speaker, fluent in English and Italian and has good knowledge of German and French.

msendin@gsma.com