The areas the review will focus on will be motor insurance, clothing retailing and games applications.
This research is part of the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) wider project to understand better the commercial use of consumer data, including how it affects consumers, businesses, competition and the wider economy. It will provide the CMA with greater detail of how certain markets in the economy collect and use consumer data in practice. The researchers will examine available evidence and contact businesses operating in the sectors, as well as third parties, to understand how and why they are collecting and using consumers’ data.
The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law. From 1 April 2014 it took over the functions of the Competition Commission and the competition and certain consumer functions of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), as amended by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
DotEcon Ltd has been providing economic advice on competition, regulation, public policy, market design and business strategy to governments, competition authorities and leading companies around the world since 1999. Analysys Mason are global specialist advisers on telecoms, media and technology. For the last 30 years, the company has advised governments, regulatory bodies, market participants and investors on the most important developments in these sectors. In 2014, Analysys Mason published the report ‘Online data economy value chain’ for Ofcom, addressing the commercial use of consumer data.
The research on games applications will focus on the collection of consumer data through games applications used by adults (excluding gambling). This is distinct from the issues addressed by the OFT in its ‘Principles for online and app-based games’, published in January 2014. The principles focused particularly on the promotion of and mechanisms for in-game purchases.
On 27 January, the CMA issued a call for information focused on consumer data. The deadline for responses is 6 March 2015.