Big Data: As a Hot Topic

Big Data: A Hot Topic

Author: Rupa Paul, Amity University, Kolkata.


The advent of technology and internet forums has accelerated global economic growth. This greatly facilitated the process of collecting, processing and spending money on price trading in the hands of large companies and start-ups. Often referred to as ‘big data’, this concept calls for a large amount of high-quality data collected and processed by computer software to produce unique data for high-value commercial data. whether big data use affects market competition. Even under compulsory provision, access to big data can lead to unethical behaviour. For example, large businesses need to enter into special agreements with data companies’ analysts and data providers to gain competitively competitive data.


When examining abusive behaviour a person will not lose sight of the rules governing power which among other things includes the determination that only the business in question owns / controls that data, whether the information is related to that business or sensitive player input or if the details are different or input. In the same way, horizontal agreements such as digital price adjustment cartels can be used for self-study rates and profit-making algorithms. Data analytics may also be used to monitor compliance with both horizontal and vertical contracts such as cartels and retailer price sales. As a result of these anti-competitive concerns arising from the use of big data, many dishonest regulators have published detailed studies on the subject by identifying and discussing various situations in which big data may be seen in opposition tests.

Before we get into this question, it is worthwhile to consider the benefits and efficiency that result from commercial exploitation of big data. Consider the operating mode of any commonly used search engine. It will use self-study computer technology that will be able to identify, record and analyse search terms entered by users, websites ‘clicked’ and integrate them with data collected from its other applications and services such as email or data processing services to create detailed user profiles. It will use, and may sell, these unique information materials designed for individuals at various online advertisers and targeted retailers. Consider also personalized recommendations for products and services that you receive on various commerce platforms or social networking sites based on purchase history, keywords typed, and general and personal information provided on these websites. Therefore, by carefully following and analysing user needs and learning the consumer demand pattern, big data is very helpful in improving the quality of goods and services and its targeted advertising. It also improves decision-making on the part of providing improved market forecasting and producer efficiency.

From the point of view of competition law, a valid question arises as to whether access to and use of big data by businesses can give them market power and more competitive advantage over competitors. To put it another way, considering that data analytics tools and the growth of compact self-learning algorithms require significant investment, can they achieve huge data results in highly focused markets with high entry barriers? In addition, recent mergers and acquisitions in technology and the Communication Sector have also raised the issue that consumer privacy can be a cost-effective competitive environment in the test industry. In a compilation of Microsoft / LinkedIn, [6] the European Commission (EC) reported that while privacy concerns fall under data protection laws, it could be seen as a costly competition in integration control until consumers see it as an important factor in the quality of services provided. Recently, the EC also imposed a fine of USD 132.26 million on Facebook for failing to disclose that by sending its WhatsApp acquisition, it will be able to stop the automatic default matching between Facebook and WhatsApp accounts.


In India, there are developments taking place in technology-driven markets such as e-commerce, cab-aggregators, digital wallets etc. In addition, these technology-driven markets are also involved in the work of Merger and Acquisitions which can be a competitive concern since there will be insufficient holding of large data. Therefore, it is important that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) conducts research or provides a decision that can serve as a basis for these technology-driven markets.

With regard to privacy concerns, the European Commission concerns cases and considers privacy concerns as a valid parameter for evaluating competition. However, the CCI in the case of Vinod Kumar Gupta v. Whatsapp Inc. stated that any violation of the Information Technology Act, 2000 will not be subject to competition law, 2002. However, the competition regime continues in India and would be pleased to see the size of the CCI taking directions from the European Commission on Big Data matters.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a fine of 258 crores on Jet Airways, Indigo and SpiceJet after it was found to be behaving in a manner similar to a wagon when transferring cargo prices in a power outage. According to the CCI’s findings, the leading airlines were preparing for the same amount of fuel by using algorithms on the same day and increasing inputs at the same time without increasing fuel prices. Such action by aircraft was found to be non-competitive as it resulted in the indirect determination of air freight prices in contravention of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002.

In competition law for several years now big data has been a hot topic. It has long been a national one, and has been given a lot of attention by the European Commission recently in the context of competitive policy at the time of digital integration. And recently, the German Bundeskartellamt (“FCO”) ruled that Facebook was harassing consumers by demanding that they accept data collection and use without their full knowledge (by asking them to approve data collection in order to have an account). This unlawful decision has caused controversy over the relationship between the competition and the data protection law. The FCO’s view is that Facebook’s dominance is what allows you to enforce on contract names of users who need to allow Facebook to follow them everywhere. Maurice Stucke, a human rights expert and professor at the University of Tennessee, noted the ancient myth that dishonesty is spoken of in price and that if a product is free consumers will not be harmed. The FCO decision cuts the line between competition and data protection policy (outside of the FCC’s ability) and is still being urged by Facebook.

Therefore, the consolidation of big data in the transport sector can produce various competition law issues that suggest that certain aspects of competition law may not be appropriate for the purpose. The abuse of governance, integration control and anticompetitive behaviour have all identified challenges in the face of big data, AI and mechanization and will be addressed in this article and the state of the transport sector.


In the case of Ashish Ahuja v. Snapdeal et al. (Case No. 17 of 2014), CCI in terms of market conditions and commerce businesses say the consumer often looks for discounts and shopping experience in both online and offline markets before making a final decision to purchase a product. An increase in price in one area may cause the consumer to move to another. Therefore, CCI held that offline and online markets are not two different markets as they are different in their distribution channels.

The same has been said in cases such as In Re: Confederation of Real Estates Brokers Association of India (2016); On Re: Jasper Infotech Private limited (Snapdeal Case) (2014); and Re Re: Deepak Verma (2016) states that “commerce platforms have another distribution channel and are not a viable market.” As a result of the decisions mentioned herein, the CCI holds that as these forums are in a more formal position in the fair market, therefore, we are not abusing its position of opposition and contravention of section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002.

However, in the above CCI decisions, it does not take into account that commerce platforms have access to “big data” that gives them a competitive edge in the market. Often, offline platforms can suffer in the relevant market, because they do not have access to that information.

In Re: Samir Agrawal (2018) where Uber India was a rival organization, the CCI dealt with issues related to the cab aggregators model. The CCI acknowledged the fact that the measurement of the fare was made by an algorithm on the basis of large sets of big data. These sets of big data include passenger personal details, traffic status, service delivery status etc. Therefore, the actual pricing for each passenger is different when considering these large data sets.

In Re: limited (2012) CCI alleged that Google LLC was abusing its position in the “typical online advertising market in India”. It was explained that Google was in a position to control the algorithm that was most important in performing search results. Thus, such an algorithm was able to intervene in the default process and affect the position and significance of the results. This has resulted in increased demand when web service providers were unable to find a large number of businesses like Google, and ultimately led to market exposure.


Key factors in determining whether access to specific data empowers the market include:

Quantity: Once a certain amount of data has been collected, the collection of additional data will not result in any acquisition or significant gains for the collecting company (so-called diminishing returns). The above rate of recurring decline will obviously vary between companies and the industrial sector.

Quality: Not all data collected has the same value. New unprocessed and unusable data immediately has a lower value than ready-to-use data.

Availability: As mentioned above certain information is readily available in most companies because consumers often use their personal data for different purposes for different purposes (multiple distributions).

A joint study published by French and German competition authorities suggests that future cases may be based on the assumption that administrative abuse may arise from the firmware’s ability to gain market power from big data competitors who fail to measure it.


Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002 prohibits agreements that often result in a favourable effect on the market. Commerce platforms (Armed Forces) use advanced technology on a large data base to develop online retailers. Section 3 of the Act is set out in an agreement of any kind; it can be contractual, non-contractual, oral etc. Generally, contracts entered into between these domains are confidential and not valid.

The terms of these contracts may be worse as they allow owners to modify, remove, add to any list of merchants or website functionality. In addition, it is the only seller’s understanding to determine the look, texture, and content of a place. Therefore, it can be argued that such an agreement may be challenged in terms of section 3 (4) – the retention of prices or Section 3 (1) of the Act independently.

In addition, Section 19 (3) deals with matters relating to anti-competition agreements such as the construction of barriers or the manifestation of competition by preventing market entry. Clearly, the market can be predicted by competitors if the parties to the agreement seize the power of the larger market. In the category of decisions made by various dishonest regulators around the world, it has been said that market power also contains “big data”. The assessment of these items should therefore be consistent with the facts and circumstances of the case.

In addition, in order to determine the potential negative impact on competition (AAEC), the CCI looks at the existence of horizontal or horizontal agreements between entities. However, businesses that are not directly and indirectly affiliated with ‘big data’ can come up with anti-competitive measures by making AAEC on the market.


Evaluating corporate market performance through access to large amounts of data raises serious issues under competition law. The difficulty of the exercise is compounded by the fact that processing also requires consideration of data privacy and consumer protection issues closely linked to the questions under competition law.

Both the European Commission and the various national competition authorities continue to invest significant time and effort in the analysis of big data competition law, and there are more and more legal documents on this topic. The recent public consultation on competition policy in the years of digital integration presents an exciting understanding of how to create competition law to address these top issues. However, many issues remain unresolved and new issues arise due to ongoing technological advances. An effective response to this development will require a much closer partnership between European competition and data protection authorities as well as the application of detailed economic analysis to avoid overuse that could prevent new creation and the emergence of new jobs and business models.


“BIG DATA IN BIOSCIENCES”. ResearchGate. October 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2016.

“How data-driven policing threatens human freedom”The Economist. 4 June 2018. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 27 October2019.


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