Issues around Big Data and access to data as an essential input are rapidly gaining importance in vertical relationships. This was made clear in the Commission’s recently published evaluation of stakeholder input in the context of the review of the VBER.
In the past, the Hungarian Competition Authority (‘GVH’) focused on the horizontal aspects of data sharing and information exchange, and, naturally, as part of hard-core vertical restrictions by object. It may not take the GVH long, however, before it digs deeper into the issue of data sharing especially in the wake of data-driven markets such as FinTech or advertising.
In the past, the GVH investigated vertical data transfers mainly as part of (and mostly as evidences underlying) on the one hand hard core vertical restrictions such as retail price maintenance (see for example VJ/7/2008) and on the other hand indirect coordination practices as seen in the Treuhand case (see for example Vj/22/2015).
Recently, the GVH has turned its attention to online platforms and services, though more from a consumer protection angle and has doled out significant fines for example on booking.com or facebook (see our article on the latter here). It would not be farfetched for the GVH to take the next step and investigate in further detail the aspect of data sharing in vertical relationships especially in the context of advertising or other niche areas where big data is key for sales or the provision of services.
For more information please contact Laszlo Zlatarov or Daniel Aranyi.