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Modern Bigness : Challenges for European Competition Law

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "MOBI" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 3584 CS

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 1˙477˙657 €
 EC max contribution 1˙477˙657 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2019-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-01-01   to  2024-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT NL (UTRECHT) coordinator 1˙477˙657.00


 Project objective

The influence of large tech-companies in society is undeniable. The emergence and development of the digital economy marks a paradigm-shift towards a more connected and fluid ‘platform society’. New challenges stem from rapid technological developments, the combination of economic and digital power, and arise from a combination of unprecedented data-collection and the indispensability of pivotal platforms for both market-participants and citizens. This impacts both markets and democracy. Even though the challenges are urgent, law struggles to find answers. This is true also for European competition law, which aims to combat the negative effects of market power. However, as is hypothesized here, powerful tech-companies give rise to a new type of power: ‘Modern Bigness’. It impacts both market values and non-market values, such as freedom and democracy. The MOBI project investigates whether European competition law can and should tackle the challenges of Modern Bigness, arising from the digital economy. It will first develop an original theory of ‘Modern Bigness’. A case study on hypernudging digital platform-users and autonomy, and a case study on access to platforms by using the essential facilities-doctrine or public utility theory will highlight the entwinedness of market and non-market impacts, while a third study evaluates whether the power of Modern Bigness itself could be under threat by the disruptive impact of blockchain-technology. The overarching research question is answered by considering the response to the question whether European competition should tackle the multifaceted challenges of Modern Bigness within a normative framework building upon European constitutional theory and the nascent field of technology regulation. The project fundamentally reconsiders the nature and boundaries of European competition law in relation to digital developments. Ultimately, it is driven by the desire to protect fundamental societal, market and non-market values.

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The information about "MOBI" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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