Uri Y. Hacohen


User-generated data (UGD) network effects are an exciting and novel economic force. They upset conventional market competition dynamics, and they lead to the formation of dominant data platforms with market power that spans different and seemingly unrelated markets. This article explains that UGD network effects are a blessing and a curse. They provide dominant data platforms with the opportunity to generate welfare-enhancing efficiencies as well as welfare-reducing anticompetitive harms. After exploring the economic opportunities and social threats, this article explores the implications of UGD network effects on competition policy. Drawing on traditional network effects theory, this article proposes and critically examines a host of remedial approaches for policymakers to consider. These remedies include modernized public utility-style regulation, open access policies, and adjusted standards for anti-monopolization and merger scrutiny.