A critical look at the DMA

GIS Statement* by Henrique Schneider

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) introduces several wrongheaded notions. It would hamstring market leaders and reward laggards. The proposal could seriously set back innovation in Europe.

Opinion: A critical look at the Digital Markets Act
Opinion: A critical look at the Digital Markets Act (source: GIS)

According to the European Commission, a unique type of firm exerts tremendous control over most digital business models. These behemoths, called “gatekeepers,” organize access and manage upstream and downstream businesses, just as trusts did in their day. Like trusts, these digital companies could bar any noncompliant business from using the internet, stifling competition and economic freedom. For all these reasons, the Commission felt compelled to propose a new regulation, the Digital Markets Act, or DMA.

As of this writing, the DMA remains only a proposal. It still needs consultation and political approval. However, in the EU, such legislation is often passed with few amendments. It is styled as a separate and complementary tool for competition enforcers, introducing new policy objectives of “fairness and contestability.”

The DMA introduces the notions of “digital sector” and “gatekeeper.” While the very idea of a “digital sector” is already difficult to grasp, the concept of “gatekeepers” is altogether foreign to antitrust practices. The DMA describes them as “structuring elements” of the digital economy that enjoy an entrenched position in providing intermediation services. Network effects help make users (businesses and individuals alike) dependent on these gatekeepers. According to the DMA, this dependence allows them to engage in unfair practices and harm consumer welfare. Therefore, gatekeepers have a major impact on digital markets and require oversight …

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Opinion: A critical look at the Digital Markets Act


*GIS is a global intelligence service providing independent, analytical, fact-based reports from a team of experts around the world. We also provide bespoke geopolitical consultancy services to businesses to support their international investment decisions. Our clients have access to expert insights in the fields of geopolitics, economics, defense, security and energy. Our experts provide scenarios on significant geopolitical events and trends. They use their knowledge to analyze the big picture and provide valuable recommendations of what is likely to happen next, in a way which informs long-term decision-making. Our experts play active roles in top universities, think-tanks, intelligence services, business and as government advisors. They have a unique blend of backgrounds and experience to deliver the narrative and understanding of global developments. They will help you develop a complete understanding of international affairs because they identify the key players, their motivations and what really matters in a changing world. Our experts examine the challenges and opportunities in economies old and new, identify emerging politicians and analyze and appraise new threats in a fast-changing world. They offer new ideas, fresh perspectives and rigorous study.

Save the DATE! 20 May 2022: 16th Gottfried v. Haberler Conference

On the Morality of the State
and the State of Political Morals


Über die Hybris der Staaten und den Zustand politischer Moral


The 16th International Gottfried von Haberler Conference will take place on 20 May 2022 at University of Liechtenstein in Vaduz. Conference topic: On the Morality of the State and the State of Political Morals. The event will be organized and hosted by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation. The support of the University of Liechtenstein and multiple local and international sponsors is gratefully acknowledged.

By invitation only

Admission: General CHF 150/Euro 150; Students CHF 50/Euro 50

Academic Director: Kurt R. Leube
Tel. +1 650 248 4955 and Tel. +43 676 942 8980 (krleube at gmail.com)

Administration: Rosmarie Lutziger
Tel. +423 235 1570 (Rosmarie.Lutziger at lgt.com)

Media Matters: Karin Brigl
Tel. +423 235 2344 (karin.brigl at lgt.com)

Conference Program:
09:00-09:30 Registration
09:30-09:45 Welcome and Opening by H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein


Session I:
Behind a Democratic Veil: A new Centralism and a Downfall of Standards

May20, 2022, 09:45-10:00  Chair: Peter Fischer (CH)
10:00-10:30  “Democracy as Practiced is Flawed: The New Machiavellianism” – Pedro Schwarz (ES)
10:30-10:45  Discussion
10:45-11:15  Coffee break
11:15-11:45  “Der zunehmende Zentralismus in der Europäischen Wirtschafts- und Gesellschaftspolitik” – Lars P. Feld (D)
11:45-12:00  Discussion
12:00-13:30  Buffet Luncheon for all participants at conference site


Session II:
On Autocratic Tendencies and the Erosion of Individual Freedom

13:30-13:45  Chair: Hardy Bouillon (D)
13:45-14:15  “Semantic Traps: Politics with Loaded Terms” – Terry L. Anderson (USA)
14:15-14:30  Discussion
14:30-15:00  “Über ein drohendes Bargeldverbot und die Folgen” – Thorsten Hens (CH)
15:00-15:15 Discussion
15:15-15:45 Coffee break


Session III:
On Power, Corruption and the End of the Rule of Law

15:45-16:00  Chair: Karl-Peter Schwarz (AT)
16:00-16:30  “The Separation of Powers as Cornerstone of Liberty under Law” – Chandran Kukathas (AUS)
16:30-16:45  Discussion
16:45-17:15  “Über den Rechtspositivismus und das Ende des Rechtsstaats” – Henrique Schneider (CH)
17:15-17:45  Discussion (general)
17:45-18:00  Closing Remarks by H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein
18:15-18:30  Transportation by bus to the cocktail reception at Vaduz Castle
18:30-19:45  Cocktail Reception at Vaduz Castle

Relevant literature is also offered for sale by buchausgabe.de

List of all Gottfried von Haberler Conferences since 2005

Deadline is approaching for 14th Vernon Smith Price

One more week left! The deadline is approaching for your entries for the 14th International Vernon Smith Prize. Topic this year:

The Pretense of Knowledge
as a Method of Governance

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” Socrates
The International Vernon Smith Prize is an essay competition  for the advancement of Austrian Economics. Sponsored and organized by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein).

Essay Competition | Call for papers!

Due to the fact that it is not immediately obvious why governments should not imitate the methods of the so-called hard sciences to design the perfect policies or practices of governance, politicians and their advisors became captivated with the advancement of science and the enormous processing power of computers. As a result, they were persuaded to confuse the precision of mathematical models and their collected piles of quantifiable data with their factually rather limited knowledge about how societies work. Fooled into believing that statistics based on stored data are the most critical, governments are busy to rearrange them, compute averages or draw erudite charts in order to propose their solutions. However, as people demand results, politicians eager to satisfy the public often conspicuously announce their ‘scientifically’ looking solutions that often worsen the problems. Overconfidence in the methods of the hard sciences to control society can easily turn democracies into tyrannies and will lead to the destruction of a free society, which is the result of human action, but not of human design.
This ‘Pretense of Knowledge’ is not only a serious threat to individual freedom and democracy as it alludes to a pretended competence to design and execute a centrally planned society. It is also dangerous for both methodological and policy reasons. However, societies of free people are a living, changing, moving web of disparate actions and entities. And as long as individuals remain free every law, every institution and every human action is composed of countless subjective judgments and motivations of independent individuals interacting with one another without coercion.

– 1st Prize: €4,000  –
– 2nd Prize: €3,000  –
– 3rd Prize: €2,000 –

All entries must meet the following 5 requirements:

1: Entries may be submitted by individuals of up to 30 years (in 2021).
2: Entries may not exceed 12 pages, including a full bibliography and a 1/2 page summary; 1.5 spacing; left/right margins no less then 1 inch.
3: Entries must be submitted in English in electronic form (PDF) to krl@ecaef.li and must include a current CV with Date of Birth.
4: Entries must be received on or before 22 November, 2021.

It is mandatory that all prize winners to participate in the award ceremony in Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein) in 7 February 2022.

Prizes are not transferable and will be awarded on the basis of originality, grasp of subject, and the logical consistence of the argument. An international jury will judge the essays and the winners will be invited to present their papers at a special event in Vaduz, Principality of Liechtenstein on 7 February, 2022.


The International Vernon Smith Prize has been established in 2008 by ECAEF for the advancement of Austrian Economics. It is named after Professor Vernon Lomax Smith (born on January 1, 1927). He is professor of economics at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics and School of Law in Orange, California, a research scholar at George Mason University Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, and a Fellow of the Mercatus Center, all in Arlington, Virginia. Smith shared the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Daniel Kahneman. He is also the founder and president of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics, a Member of the Board of Advisors for The Independent Institute, and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C.

14th International Vernon Smith Prize 2021 – Call for Papers

Topic:

The Pretense of Knowledge
as a Method of Governance

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” Socrates
The International Vernon Smith Prize is an essay competition  for the advancement of Austrian Economics. Sponsored and organized by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein).

Essay Competition | Call for papers!

Due to the fact that it is not immediately obvious why governments should not imitate the methods of the so-called hard sciences to design the perfect policies or practices of governance, politicians and their advisors became captivated with the advancement of science and the enormous processing power of computers. As a result, they were persuaded to confuse the precision of mathematical models and their collected piles of quantifiable data with their factually rather limited knowledge about how societies work. Fooled into believing that statistics based on stored data are the most critical, governments are busy to rearrange them, compute averages or draw erudite charts in order to propose their solutions. However, as people demand results, politicians eager to satisfy the public often conspicuously announce their ‘scientifically’ looking solutions that often worsen the problems. Overconfidence in the methods of the hard sciences to control society can easily turn democracies into tyrannies and will lead to the destruction of a free society, which is the result of human action, but not of human design.
This ‘Pretense of Knowledge’ is not only a serious threat to individual freedom and democracy as it alludes to a pretended competence to design and execute a centrally planned society. It is also dangerous for both methodological and policy reasons. However, societies of free people are a living, changing, moving web of disparate actions and entities. And as long as individuals remain free every law, every institution and every human action is composed of countless subjective judgments and motivations of independent individuals interacting with one another without coercion.

– 1st Prize: €4,000  –
– 2nd Prize: €3,000  –
– 3rd Prize: €2,000 –

All entries must meet the following 5 requirements:

1: Entries may be submitted by individuals of up to 30 years (in 2021).
2: Entries may not exceed 12 pages, including a full bibliography and a 1/2 page summary; 1.5 spacing; left/right margins no less then 1 inch.
3: Entries must be submitted in English in electronic form (PDF) to krl@ecaef.li and must include a current CV with Date of Birth.
4: Entries must be received on or before 22 November, 2021.

It is mandatory that all prize winners to participate in the award ceremony in Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein) in 7 February 2022.

Prizes are not transferable and will be awarded on the basis of originality, grasp of subject, and the logical consistence of the argument. An international jury will judge the essays and the winners will be invited to present their papers at a special event in Vaduz, Principality of Liechtenstein on 7 February, 2022.


The International Vernon Smith Prize has been established in 2008 by ECAEF for the advancement of Austrian Economics. It is named after Professor Vernon Lomax Smith (born on January 1, 1927). He is professor of economics at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics and School of Law in Orange, California, a research scholar at George Mason University Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, and a Fellow of the Mercatus Center, all in Arlington, Virginia. Smith shared the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Daniel Kahneman. He is also the founder and president of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics, a Member of the Board of Advisors for The Independent Institute, and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C.

Save The Date! 16th Gottfried v. Haberler Conference – 20 May 2022

On the Morality of the State
and the State of Political Morals


Über die Hybris der Staaten und den Zustand politischer Moral


Gottfried von Haberler Conference | The 16th International Gottfried von Haberler Conference will finally take place on 20 May 2022 at University of Liechtenstein in Vaduz. Conference topic: On the Morality of the State and the State of Political Morals. The event will be organized and hosted by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation. The support of the University of Liechtenstein and multiple local and international sponsors is gratefully acknowledged.

By invitation only

Admission: General CHF 150/Euro 150; Students CHF 50/Euro 50

Academic Director: Kurt R. Leube
Tel. +1 650 248 4955 and Tel. +43 676 942 8980 (krleube at gmail.com)

Administration: Rosmarie Lutziger
Tel. +423 235 1570 (Rosmarie.Lutziger at lgt.com)

Media Matters: Karin Brigl
Tel. +423 235 2344 (karin.brigl at lgt.com)

Conference Program:
09:00-09:30 Registration
09:30-09:45 Welcome and Opening by H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein


Session I:
Behind a Democratic Veil: A new Centralism and a Downfall of Standards

May20, 2022, 09:45-10:00  Chair: Peter Fischer (CH)
10:00-10:30  “Democracy as Practiced is Flawed: The New Machiavellianism” – Pedro Schwarz (ES)
10:30-10:45  Discussion
10:45-11:15  Coffee break
11:15-11:45  “Der zunehmende Zentralismus in der Europäischen Wirtschafts- und Gesellschaftspolitik” – Lars P. Feld (D)
11:45-12:00  Discussion
12:00-13:30  Buffet Luncheon for all participants at conference site


Session II:
On Autocratic Tendencies and the Erosion of Individual Freedom

13:30-13:45  Chair: Hardy Bouillon (D)
13:45-14:15  “Semantic Traps: Politics with Loaded Terms” – Terry L. Anderson (USA)
14:15-14:30  Discussion
14:30-15:00  “Über ein drohendes Bargeldverbot und die Folgen” – Thorsten Hens (CH)
15:00-15:15 Discussion
15:15-15:45 Coffee break


Session III:
On Power, Corruption and the End of the Rule of Law

15:45-16:00  Chair: Karl-Peter Schwarz (AT)
16:00-16:30  “The Separation of Powers as Cornerstone of Liberty under Law” – Chandran Kukathas (AUS)
16:30-16:45  Discussion
16:45-17:15  “Über den Rechtspositivismus und das Ende des Rechtsstaats” – Henrique Schneider (CH)
17:15-17:45  Discussion (general)
17:45-18:00  Closing Remarks by H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein
18:15-18:30  Transportation by bus to the cocktail reception at Vaduz Castle
18:30-19:45  Cocktail Reception at Vaduz Castle

Relevant literature is also offered for sale by buchausgabe.de

List of all Gottfried von Haberler Conferences since 2005