Business & Information Systems Engineering

Document Type

Research Paper


Data portability allows users to transfer databetween competing online services. As data gets increas-ingly valuable for online services and users alike, theenforcement of data portability within the European Unionby the General Data Protection Regulation will haveimportant ramifications for the competition in onlinemarkets. Thus, this paper develops a game-theoretic modelto examine firms’ strategic reaction to data portability andto identify the ensuing market outcomes. It can be shown,among others, that although data portability is designed toprotect users, they may be hurt because market entrantshave an incentive to increase the amount of collected datacompared to a regime without data portability. However,profits for new services and total surplus increase if thecosts for implementation are not too large. This likelyimproves innovation and service variety. Consequently, theresults provide important insights and case-specific rec-ommendations for managers and policy makers in data-driven online markets.