Let the Fastest Runners Sprint: Comment of the Global Antitrust Institute on the European Commission’s Calls for Contributions on Competition in Virtual Worlds and Generative AI


The European Commission invited public input on competition in virtual worlds and generative artificial intelligence. The GAI commended the Commission for studying competition in these young and dynamic fields. The GAI suggested that such a study should not seek to make fixed judgments, to justify presumptions of anticompetitive effects or to impose preconceived rules. The legal standards and mechanisms of competition enforcement have shown abundant capacity to address novel technologies and business practices and may be relied upon until a persuasive case for change emerges as a result of specific enforcement experiences. The GAI described the long history in the United States of displacing competition with ex ante economic regulation in key sectors, resulting in serious long-run restraints on competition, innovation and economic performance. Such regulation—involving transportation, energy, communications and other sectors—was abolished in some sectors and severely curtailed in others as the result of a broad consensus among scholars and policymakers—recognizing the negative results—that has largely prevailed since the late 1970s. The GAI also suggested that the Commission—which has allowed only 31 days for public input and has stated that it "may organize a workshop" on the subject in the second quarter of 2024, should consider additional steps to advance its inquiry, including seeking additional public input. This would allow a more searching study in light of the complex and rapidly evolving circumstances prevailing in these sectors.