The European Competition Journal is a peer reviewed academic journal which publishes outstanding scholarly articles relating to European competition law and economics. Its mission is to help foster learning and debate about how European competition law and policy can continue to develop in an economically rational way.
In July 2022 the European Council gave final approval to new regulation of digital markets. It specifically addresses the main concerns raised by the business behaviour of operators of core services in their gatekeeping positions. The list of core services was extended during revisions.
The paper addresses questions of whether the inclusion of virtual assistants into the list of core services of the new regulation was right. Overall, this paper argues that (i) virtual assistants as gatekeepers for consumption should be listed among core services, (ii) some of the Digital Markets Act’s obligations need to be adopted to fit the specifics of virtual assistants, (iii) there are two relevant dimensions of power which should be considered in competition policy and regulation analysis: market power on virtual assistants’ market and the ecosystem of related markets (cross-market integration criterion), (iv) the growth of new gatekeepers should be prevented, among other means by stricter merger control.
Victoriia Noskova (2022) Virtual assistants as gatekeepers for consumption? – how information intermediaries shape competition, European Competition Journal, DOI: 10.1080/17441056.2022.2129771