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Samuel Bowman headshot

Founding Editor at Works in Progress

Sam Bowman is a founding editor of Works in Progress. Previously, he was director of competition policy at the ICLE, principal at Fingleton, and executive director of the Adam Smith Institute.

Geoffrey A. Manne headshot

President and Founder

Geoffrey A. Manne is president and founder of the International Center for Law and Economics (ICLE), a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center based in Portland, Oregon. He is also a distinguished fellow at Northwestern University’s Center on Law, Business, and Economics. Previously he taught at Lewis & Clark Law School. Prior to teaching, Manne practiced antitrust law at Latham & Watkins, clerked for Hon. Morris S. Arnold on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and worked as a research assistant for Judge Richard Posner. He was also once (very briefly) employed by the FTC. Manne holds AB & JD degrees from the University of Chicago.

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TL;DR

Access to Data: Not the Barrier It’s Thought to Be

Data doesn’t create a barrier to entry, but privacy regulations might. 

The Debate…

Some fear that incumbents’ access to user data gives them the ability to improve and target their products in ways that new entrants cannot replicate, creating a barrier to entry that holds back competition in ways that are harmful to consumers.

But…

While access to data may confer some advantages on incumbents, they are not insurmountable by others, and they are akin to other benefits like reputation that are not considered to be barriers to entry.

Download the tl;dr explainer PDF here