Protecting Consumers in the Data Society: It’s the Enforcement, Stupid!


  • Alexandre De Streel


  • Andreas Mundt
  • Marie-Laure Denis
  • Inge Graef
  • William Kovacic

Organisation: Digital Clearinghouse

Room: Online 3

Timing: 14:15 - 15:30 on 28 January 2021

Discussions about the protection of individuals in the digital era often focus on whether the rules are adequate. However, experience from the Digital Clearinghouse shows that effective enforcement is at least as important as the substance of the rules and yet sometimes neglected in the policy debate.

The panel looks back at recent key enforcement actions that aimed to improve the effectiveness of consumer rights, such as the Facebook decision of the Bundeskartellamt and the Google decision of the CNIL. Lessons are drawn for optimizing the institutional set-up for enforcement and collaboration between authorities based on insights from European and US perspectives. The panel will also discuss whether the enforcement reforms proposed by the European Commission in the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA) are adequate and what should be improved during the legislative negotiations.

• What lessons can be drawn from recent cases at the national level to improve the enforcement of consumer rights in the areas of data protection, competition and consumer law?
• What modes of cooperation between different regulatory authorities should be further developed?
• Should the DSA and DMA establish an equivalent in Europe of the US Federal Trade Commission?


Alexandre De Streel

University of Namur (BE)

Alexandre de Streel is Professor of European law at the University of Namur and the Research Centre for Information, Law and Society (CRIDS/NADI). He is also a Hauser Global Fellow at New York University (NYU) Law School and visiting professor at the European University Institute, SciencesPo Paris and the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. His main areas of research are regulation and competition policy in the digital economy as well as the legal issues raised by the development of Artificial Intelligence. He is the co-editor of Electronic communications, Audiovisual Services and the Internet: EU Competition Law and Regulation, 4th ed., Sweet & Maxwell, 2019.
Alexandre is also Academic Co-director at the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE) and assessor at the Belgian Competition Authority. Alexandre regularly advises international organisations (such as the European Commission, European Parliament, OECD), national regulatory authorities and digital companies on regulatory and competition issues. Previously, he has been senior European advisor to the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, attaché in charge of economic and employment policies at the Belgian Permanent Representation to the European Union during the 2010 Belgian Presidency and expert in charge of telecommunications regulation at the European Commission (DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology).
He holds a Ph.D. in Law from the European University Institute (Florence) on the relationship between telecom regulation and competition law, and a Master Degree in Economics from the University of Louvain.


Andreas Mundt

German Bundeskartellamt (DE)

Andreas Mundt has been President of the Bundeskartellamt since 2009, member of the Bureau of the OECD Competition Committee since 2010 and the Steering Group Chair of the International Competition Network since 2013. After qualifying as a lawyer, Andreas Mundt entered the Federal Ministry of Economics in 1991. In 1993 he joined the staff of the Free Democratic Party in the German Parliament. In 2000 he joined the Bundeskartellamt as rapporteur and later acted as Head of the International Unit and Director of General Policy.

Marie-Laure Denis


Marie-Laure DENIS graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Studies in 1988 and is a former student of the National Administration School. She held different positions at the French Council of State. She was Deputy chief of staff to the Mayor of Paris, Chief of staff to the Deputy Minister for Family and Deputy chief of staff to the Minister of health, family and persons with disabilities. She was a member of the French Audiovisual Regulator and then a member of the French Regulator for electronic communications and post. She was a member of the Committee of the Energy regulation commission. Marie-Laure DENIS has been appointed President of the CNIL by decree of the President of the French Republic for a mandate of 5 years starting from February 2nd, 2019.

Inge Graef

Tilburg University (NL)

Inge Graef is Associate Professor of Competition Law at Tilburg University. She is affiliated to the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) and the Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC).
Inge holds expertise in the areas of competition law, platform regulation and the governance of data. She is co-chairing the Digital Clearinghouse initiative, which aims to facilitate cooperation, dialogue and exchange of insights between regulatory authorities across Europe and beyond in the areas of competition, data protection and consumer law. Inge is also appointed as a member of the European Commission's expert group to the EU Observatory on the Online Platform Economy.

William Kovacic

George Washington University Law School and former chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission (US)

William Kovacic is the Global Competition Professor of Law and Policy at the George Washington University Law School and a Visiting Professor at King's College London. Since 2014 he has been a Non-Executive Director of the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority. He served as the General Counsel of the US Federal Trade Commission from 2001 to 2004 and was a member of the agency's board from 2006 to 2011. He chaired the FTC from March 2008 to March 2009. With Ariel Ezrachi, Kovacic is the co-editor of the Journal of Antitrust Enforcement.