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Regulation of Cloud Services under US and EU Antitrust, Competition and Privacy Laws

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Sára Gabriella Hoffman

This book examines how cloud-based services challenge the current application of antitrust and privacy laws in the EU and the US. The author looks at the elements of data centers, the way information is organized, and how antitrust, competition and privacy laws in the US and the EU regulate cloud-based services and their market practices. She discusses how platform interoperability can be a driver of incremental innovation and the consequences of not promoting radical innovation. She evaluates applications of predictive analysis based on big data as well as deriving privacy-invasive conduct. She looks at the way antitrust and privacy laws approach consumer protection and how lawmakers can reach more balanced outcomes by understanding the technical background of cloud-based services.

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5 Overview of laws and policy makers in the EU and the U.S.

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5 Overview of laws and policy makers in the EU and the U.S.

Cloud computing has come to the attention of policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic. Identifying the key players and their stakes in shaping the legal environment of the cloud is necessary in order to see what considerations drive legal reforms in the field. This chapter serves as an overview of the applicable legal provisions and the responsible policy makers in the EU and the U.S. The legal environment for data privacy is very fragmented in the U.S. in comparison to the EU and its Member States (with special emphasis on Germany). In contrast, competition and antitrust laws are systematically more homogenous.

5.1 Policy makers in the U.S.

In the U.S. the leading government body dealing with cloud computing is the Congressional Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet150. It is a subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee at the United States House of Representatives. It was established in 2011.151 It has jurisdiction over amongst others information technology, trademark, copyright and patent law.152 Secondly, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) plays a major role in developing laws for the cloud sector. The FCC is the regulatory authority for international communication by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.153 It is in charge of communications law, technical innovation and promoting a legal framework that accommodates the “unfolding of the communications revolution”.154 Thirdly, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the agency in charge of...

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