At the “KAS-Data Summit 2019” Professor Philip Marsden, one of the authors of the Furman-Report, compared the GAFAMs (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) with giant babies: “They see the world through new eyes, they need attention and they move fast and break things.” What he was expressing: We all admire the power of innovation that the tech-giants bring to light. We benevolently watch them grow, prosper and create new markets. But we must observe them and intervene as soon as they threaten to destroy competition in entire industries. In Germany “2020” will most likely stand for a cautious but brave step towards a new regulatory approach of antitrust law. German Bundeskartellamt will be hired as the “babysitter”, taking a closer look at the cross-market moving tech-giants. I´m looking forward to the debate on scope and range of the new regulatory approach. Strict regulation should be avoided though. Otherwise we run the risk to break things – just like the babies do.
Konstantin Kutscher is a Legal Assistant of Dr. Matthias Heider, Member of the German Bundestag. Dr Heider is the Deputy Head of the Parliament’s Economic Committee and the rapporteur for the reform of the German competition law act for the governing CDU/CSU.