Market study of digital platforms

The Swedish Competition Authority is now performing a market study of the functioning of competition on digital platforms in Sweden. To deepen our knowledge, we are inviting interested parties to contribute with input to the study. The consultation will take place between 7 and 30 November 2019.

Digital platforms have had transformative effects on the entire economy. Innovative business models and technical solutions have increased efficiency in many markets, for example by facilitating for buyers and sellers to meet in new ways. This development has often had benefits for consumers in the form of an increased range of products and services, and lower prices.

However, a number of reports have highlighted how the same features that contribute to the efficiency of the platforms, such as network effects, economies of scale and scope, and the significance of data, may lead to new competition issues. Market power may be concentrated to a few companies, which makes it harder for new companies to access the markets and can eventually weaken competition, to the detriment of consumers. This development raises questions regarding both how competition rules should be applied and if there is a need for new rules.

The duties of the Swedish Competition Authority include highlighting barriers to effective competition, following the developments in its field of responsibility, and performing broader studies of competition conditions within specific industries or markets in the private sector. The Swedish Competition Authority also has a strategic focus on investigating, in various ways, how digitalization impacts on competition in Sweden.

On the back of this, we are now performing a market study of competition on the markets for digital platforms in Sweden. The purpose is for the study to illuminate the extent of competition and identify any need for measures to promote competition.

The scope of the study

A delimitation has been made based on a review of which areas have been included in the market studies of other countries, and the supervision matters opened and tips received by the Swedish Competition Authority. We have initially chosen to focus our study on:

  • Digital advertising
  • Mobile app stores
  • Food delivery
  • Audiobooks
  • Digital payment service
  • Digital market places

The scope may change depending on what comes to light during the consultation.

You are welcome to contribute with experiences and perspectives

To be able to determine the scope of the study in greater detail, we invite interested parties to participate by commenting on the state of competition in regards to digital platforms in Sweden and what the market study should pay attention to. We aim this invitation primarily at industry organisations, digital platforms, companies that routinely interact commercially with digital platforms, and researchers. However, the consultation is also open to other stakeholders wishing to contribute with their experiences and knowledge.

You are welcome to contribute with written comments, no later than 30 November 2019, by sending them to digitalaplattformar@kkv.se.

We ask that you include information on who you represent in your comments.

What will happen with your written comments?

When you send your comments, we will respond as quickly as possible and use your information as a basis for the study.

We will not publish your comments, but when you send them to us they will become an official document that can be requested by a third party for disclosure. In such case, we will perform a secrecy assessment in accordance with the rules of protection of information regarding an individual’s business or operative relations.

Results

The results of the market study will be published in the form of a report. If the study indicates competition issues, the Swedish Competition Authority may make recommendations on altered rules.

A market study does not have as its purpose and will not result in the conclusion that competition rules have been breached. However, any indications of a breach may lead to the initiation of a supervisory matter on the part of the Swedish Competition Authority.

Time plan

The market study will be open for consultation during the period 7 to 30 November 2019. After that, we will be conducting in-depth interviews and gathering information from market parties through injunctions and surveys.

If necessary, another consultation will be held in the spring of 2020, to test the preliminary conclusions.

The market study will be published in the summer of 2020.

Contacts for more information on the market study

Please contact:

David Nordström,
phone +46(0)8 700 16 06,
e-mail david.nordstrom@kkv.se

Louise Lundberg,
phone +46(0)8 700 16 90,
e-mail louise.lundberg@kkv.se.

Related information

Last updated: