GDPR Myopia: how a well-intended regulation ended up favouring large online platforms - the case of ad tech

Damien Geradin, Theano Karanikioti, Dimitrios Katsifis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


This paper argues that while the GDPR has arguably delivered positive outcomes by enhancing the protection afforded to data subjects, it has also had adverse effects on competition by strengthening the position of large online platforms in certain markets. In addition, the GDPR has given large platforms a tool to harm rivals by restricting access to the data they need to compete effectively. The present paper focuses on digital advertising and the ad tech industry, where the GDPR appears to have strengthened Google and Facebook. The purpose of this paper is not to call for the weakening of the GDPR, whose positive impact on users cannot be ignored. While from a policy standpoint regulators should thus maintain or even increase the level of protection offered by this legislation, it is vital that they take steps to mitigate its adverse effects on other dimensions of welfare, such as competition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-92
Number of pages46
JournalEuropean Competition Journal
Issue number1
Early online date18 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Facebook‌
  • GDPR
  • Google
  • ad tech
  • competition
  • online advertising
  • online platforms
  • privacy
  • programmatic advertising

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