Austrian Hub Held an Evening Lecture on ‘Controlling Power in the Digital Economy’


On 14 April 2021, the ELI Austrian Hub co-organised, together with the University of Innsbruck, its first Evening Lecture within the Spring Lecture Series .

The Lecture was held by Eleanor Fox, the Walter J Derenberg Professor of Trade and Regulation at New York University School of Law and was moderated by Susanne Augenhofer, LLM (Yale), Professor at the Department of Business Law at the University of Innsbruck and one of the Co-Chairs of the ELI Austrian Hub.

Professor Fox discussed the role of antitrust law in regulating Big Tech companies. After demonstrating the current state of antitrust law in the United States and in the EU, as well as recent developments, also in China, she explained how the ‘GAFA’ (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) use their economic power to stifle competition. She also presented the comparison of the EU and the US systems as well as the recent case law, including, among others, the Google cases both in the EU and the US, the Facebook case in Germany and the Apple v Epic case in the US. Her analysis led to the conclusion that the US is lagging behind the EU in terms of antitrust regulation and enforcement and that stricter regulation is needed in the US.

Professor Fox invited the audience to reflect on the global governance gap in antitrust regulation and possible remedies for taming Big Tech. Due to these firms having their statutory seat in the US, it is difficult for the EU to intervene effectively. With regard to possible remedies, she examined advantages and disadvantages of breakups and of behavioural regulation.

The Lecture was followed by a lively Q&A session.

The next Evening Lectures in the event series take place on 28 April, 17 May, and 9 June 2021.