Competition and Regulatory Policy Challenges of Digitisation. On the Way to a "Social Market Economy 4.0"

Digitisation is changing and creating new markets. Compared to traditional markets, digital markets are characterised by a higher degree of transparency and product differentiation. Oligopolisation and monopolisation tendencies are favoured by a reduction in transaction and search costs, greater transparency and stronger market selection. Particularly in platform markets, economies of scale and network effects have enabled dominant companies to establish themselves. The sustainable safeguarding of the social market economy while at the same time exploiting the opportunities offered by digitisation requires a critical examination of the driving forces of digital capitalism. The key to this lies in a return to the "brand core" of the social market economy and thus to the development of a competition and regulatory policy that has been recalibrated in line with the digital challenges. The aim must be to guarantee the deniability of the digital markets and thus to sustainably secure a functioning market economy competition.