Are smart contracts to outsmart competition rules?

Digital economy has been posing a massive challenge for competition enforcers, who are often led to stretch analogue-world rules in an attempt to capture brand new business dimensions. Therefore, one can easily imagine how difficult it will be for them to catch collaborative phenomena defying the very concepts of business and economy.

Blockchain is the archetypal case since it reunites the various ingredients for this paradigm shift: decentralisation, collaboration, automation, and determinism. It may even render obsolete the traditional game-theoretic approach to collusion as a trade-off between the benefits of cooperation and the threat of detection or defection.

Consequently, a better understanding of colluders’ changed incentives in each case seems necessary to determine whether the coin would land on the side of either increased attractiveness of coordination or stronger competition. This is the background to the potential obstacles and benefits to be expected in blockchain technology from the perspective of competition rules, and, in particular, on agreements between companies, which I discuss in the contribution “Coordination in blockchain: Are smart contracts to outsmart competition rules?

Coordination in blockchain: Are smart contracts to outsmart competition rules? – IE Law Hub

If the old competition rulebook has weathered the storm of digital economy so far, blockchain may pose too much of a challenge: it may bring a change of incentives that at least calls for more flexible and cooperative enforcement, albeit perhaps not a complete paradigm shift.

Author: PabloSD

EU, competition and regulation lawyer with experience in law firms (Uría Menéndez, Slaughter and May) and the CJEU. LLM in EU Law and Economic Analysis from the College of Europe (Bruges), master's degree in European Studies from the University of Seville, bachelor’s degree in law and business from the University of Seville. Currently, Payments Legal Counsel at Amadeus and lecturer at Universidad Carlos III, Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía and Instituto de Empresa. Board member at the Spanish Association for the Protection of Competition (AEDC) and newsletter editor at the Spanish Association for the Study of European Law (AEDEUR).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.