Competition Law Objectives: free software and web services

Adnan Farook (University of Reading)

Research Seminar

Wednesday 23 November, 16.00, Room EB602

Search engines, social networks and video/messaging communication applications on mobile phones and computers are all innovative online services that are provided for free. These digital markets are characterized by companies with massive market shares and are therefore scrutinized by the European Competition Commission quite closely. However, European Union competition law fundamentally aims to protect consumers. The irony is therefore in the fact that the Commission seriously scrutinizes allegations against companies that provide a free and innovative service that consumers extensively benefit from. Such irony has led to confusing rationale on the part of the Commission. This seminar explores this confusion and suggests why it is happening; and in doing so it also recommends a possible solution.

Adnan Farook is PhD Candidate at the Centre for Commercial Law and Financial Regulation of the University of Reading.