Data, Competition, and Consumer Privacy in Digital Markets

Clavora Braulin, Francesco (2020) Data, Competition, and Consumer Privacy in Digital Markets, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Economics, 32 Ciclo.
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Abstract

In digital markets personal information is pervasively collected by firms. In the first chapter I study data ownership and product customization when there is exclusive access to non rival but excludable data about consumer preferences. I show that an incumbent firm does not have an incentive to sell an exclusively held dataset with a rival firm, but instead it has an incentive to trade a customizing technology with the other firm. In the second chapter I investigate the effects of consumer information on the intensity of competition. In a two dimensional model of product differentiation, firms use information on preferences to practice price discrimination. I contrast a full privacy and a no privacy benchmark with a regime in which firms are able to target consumers only partially. When data is partially informative, firms are always better-off with price discrimination and an exclusive access to user data is not necessarily a competition policy concern. From a consumer protection perspective, the policy recommendation is that the regulator should promote either no privacy or full privacy. In the third chapter I introduce a data broker that observes either only one or both dimensions of consumer information and sells this data to competing firms for price discrimination purposes. When the seller exogenously holds a partially informative dataset, an exclusive allocation arises. Instead, when the dataset held is fully informative, the data broker trades information non exclusively but each competitor acquires consumer data on a different dimension. When data collection is made endogenous, non exclusivity is robust if collection costs are not too high. The competition policy suggestion is that exclusivity should not be banned per se, but it is data differentiation in equilibrium that rises market power in competitive markets. Upstream competition is sufficient to ensure that both firms get access to consumer information.

Abstract
Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Autore
Clavora Braulin, Francesco
Supervisore
Dottorato di ricerca
Ciclo
32
Coordinatore
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
price discrimination, data broker, consumer information, privacy
URN:NBN
Data di discussione
19 Ottobre 2020
URI

Altri metadati

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