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Competition Policy in digital markets as a scientific controversy: A bibliometric analysis

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This research investigates the evolution of the scientific and policy debate on competition policy in digital markets (defined as “digital competition policy”, hereafter DCP). Chapter 1 illustrates the main issues that make DCP a controversial problem for many scholars and reviews the literature that previously mapped the related scientific debate. The chapter concludes that the debate on DCP can be framed as a “controversy”, that is a situation in which certain scientific facts become unstable and large dissensus emerges in scientific communities. Chapter 2 applies various bibliometric tools to academic literature and policy reports datasets, to test whether the debate on DCP has the features of a controversy. The analysis demonstrates the spiking interest towards antitrust in digital markets and shows how the most-cited policy and scientific literature is produced in the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, and Australia. Moreover, policy reports are mainly produced by national competition authorities, governments and the OECD. In conclusion, the empirical evidence suggests that DCP can be framed as a controversy because the data show a significant growth in the number of publications and variety of actors composing the scientific and policy debate.