The Metaverse, voice assistants, smart automated vehicles, wearables, there are a number of visions of the future, but more important than which, if any, of these comes to pass, is what these different visions of the future have in common. Which is the understanding that controlling what is, in effect, the next-generation operating system, will deliver an incredibly powerful gatekeeper role that will allow the extraction of huge rents. There is particular scope for harm to potential competition from self-preferencing by these gatekeepers. This short paper sets out the exclusionary concerns and distinguishes those from exploitative concerns that I argue may nevertheless distort and restrict competition by creating a hold-up problem. I explore how these concerns might apply in the Metaverse and other emerging technologies, and argue that applying the type of self-preferencing and interoperability rules that are currently under consideration to these emerging markets will protect potential competition, provide helpful certainty for investors, and help to build an innovative but more decentralized next generation of technologies.
You can read the full publication here.
Chris joined Fideres in 2021. Chris holds a PhD, an MA and BA in Economics from the University of East Anglia. Before joining Fideres, Chris worked as a Competition Expert for the OECD where he led the economic thinking on antitrust and regulation within digital markets, as well the role for competition law & policy in delivering inclusivity. He also led a working party of the OECD Competition Committee in developing a new international standard on competitive neutrality and a revision of the standard on competitive assessment (in light of the digitalization of the economy). Prior to the OECD, Chris advised the UK government’s Department of Trade & Industry on the benefits of competition policy, and the UK Competition Commission (predecessor to the Competition and Markets Authority) on digital mergers, retail market investigations and competition cases. He was an advisor to the Co-operation and Competition Panel, where he advised on mergers, market studies and antitrust in publicly-funded healthcare markets, and later became Director of Competition Economics at the UK Healthcare Regulator.
Chris is a founding member of the Centre for Competition Policy of the University of East Anglia. He remains an associate of the Centre, a member of various advisory boards at non-profit making organizations, and peer reviews papers for the Journal of Competition Law and Economics & the Journal of Antitrust Enforcement.