Competition Law, Big Data and Privacy

Maria Wasastjerna, Senior Legal Counsel Competition Law, Nokia Corporation, Finland

For years, big data has been the hot buzzword across industries. At the same time, the debate about big data and its implications for competition law has grown louder. The rather polarized discussion focuses on whether data protection and privacy should play a role in competition law enforcement and policy. On one side there are antitrust commentators whose concern is that, much like a ‘free lunch’, there is no such thing as ‘free’ internet services and therefore competition enforcement must step in to prevent consumer harm, including data protection and privacy of consumers. On the other side are those who maintain that big data are no different from other types of input or strategic assets, and that existing rules and procedures can sufficiently address any antitrust concerns that arise. Whereas one side favors more proactive antitrust enforcement in the big data sphere, the other opposes such intervention and considers competition law inappropriate for regulation of big data.

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Finland Competition Telecommunications April 2017 Vol.10, No. 39, Spring 2017

Maria Wasastjerna


Maria Wasastjerna is a Senior Legal Counsel at Nokia. She advises on competition law matters, including antitrust, merger control, compliance as well as intellectual property. Previously, she was an attorney practicing EU competition law at the Nordic law firm Roschier. Her earlier professional experience includes working at the DG Competition of the European Commission, the US Federal Trade Commission in Washington DC, and the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Brussels. Maria holds LLMs from the College of Europe in Bruges and Georgetown University, where she was a Fulbright Scholar. She is a qualified lawyer in Finland and New York.

Nokia Corporation


Nokia is a global leader in creating the technologies at the heart of our connected world. Powered by the research and innovation of Nokia Bell Labs, we serve communications service providers, governments, large enterprises and consumers, with the industry’s most complete, end-to-end portfolio of products, services and licensing. From the enabling infrastructure for 5G and the Internet of Things, to emerging applications in virtual reality and digital health, we are shaping the future of technology to transform the human experience. A truly global company, we are 160 nationalities working in more than 100 countries.

Finland Competition Telecommunications April 2017 Vol.10, No. 39, Spring 2017

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