The increasing pace of technological development in recent years is profoundly disrupting traditional approaches to antitrust and competition law and regulation. Governments are introducing new legislation to modernize their approaches and new tools for regulators to scrutinize fast-changing digital markets. For example, the EU’s Digital Markets Act (“DMA”) was introduced into law on September 14, 2022, and came into effect at record speed on November 1, 2022. On July 4, 2023, the European Commission announced that Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, Microsoft, and Samsung had notified the Commission that they met the thresholds to qualify as gatekeepers under the DMA.
While implementation of the DMA continues and other jurisdictions around the world debate whether and how to regulate digital platforms, attention has now also turned to the rapid and widespread availability of generative Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) tools and their impact on our lives. The EU, for example, having passed the DMA only last year, is already considering new proposals for the regulation of AI. The EU is not alone in this respect. Many other jurisdictions around the world, including the U.S., are also sharpening their current tools and introducing new ones to address the challenges of digitalization and AI.
The advent of generative AI tools is poised to be the biggest technological disruption to markets in years, according to many experts. This presents issues for governments, legislators, regulators, businesses, consumers, civil society organizations and others. These issues include the impact of automation on the employment market, how bad actors might use AI tools to subvert democracies, and whether the technology could, as some fear, end the world itself. These issues are well beyond the scope of this article, which focuses more narrowly on the increasingly intertwined relationship between antitrust and competition law and other areas of regulation and on the expanding set of national and international institutions that are examining and addressing these issues.