This month, we are taking a closer look at the issues surrounding law and its relation to technology. The world now relies on technology to access markets it could not do so before, from different countries to different businesses.
The end of roaming charges in the EU from 15 June this year demonstrated just how dependent we are on technology helping us to access data networks wherever we are in the EU. In 2016, the EU identified the Digital Single Market strategy as a means to create new opportunities for all within the EU regarding jobs, health data, the economy etc. also indicating a focus on technology.
Our viewpoint article focuses on virtual competition and is written by Professor Ariel Ezrachi who explores the theme how technology can contribute to distortions of competition. Professor Ezrachi was a guest speaker at the UK Law Societies’ Joint Brussels Office event on virtual competition and the rise of super platforms that took place on 10 May. Other guest contributors include Diane Mievis who explored the topic of digital trade and Caroline Calomme, the founder of Brussels Legal Hackers who explains why more advanced technological tools in legal practice are no longer a suggestion, but the reality.
E-commerce has brought us all closer to the promised land of competition – where ample choice, better quality and lower prices reside. Our online environment is seemingly delivering constant waves of innovation and competitive pressure. It has led to reduced barriers to entry, increased market access, increased market transparency and lower search costs.
On 12 June 2017, blockchain had successfully been used to buy and sell mutual funds in test conditions. Blockchain start-ups and jobs have continued to increase.
Modern lawyers will not only grasp the impact of current regulations on disruptive technology, they will also customise those innovations to the legal industry.
The Internet has profoundly changed trade and global value chains and enabled start-ups and small businesses to access any market around the world. While countries are updating their national rules to keep up with the fast changes brought by technology, they have been struggling to address these issues in trade deals. We cannot do trade agreements as we did in the past. The rules must be designed globally.