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Toward A Working Theory of Ecosystems in Antitrust Law: The Role of Complexity Science

Antitrust agencies are getting increasingly interested in understanding digital ecosystems.1 As someone who has long advocated for examining ecosystems in antitrust (ah, Ph.D. days…),2 I can only welcome this development. However, my working hypothesis is that the concept of ecosystems can only be understood through complexity science. And thus far, there appears to be limited interest in complexity among antitrust policymakers and enforcers (although this may be changing with the recent advent of the Dynamic Competition Initiative).3 Against this background, this contribution aims to introduce the critical role of complexity science in developing a functional theory of ecosystems in antitrust law (1.) and expose the perils of ignoring it (2.).

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