Only the largest tech giants have the extraordinary resources required for AI-based technology, and this one-step advantage may distort market competition in digital sectors in the future.
The Economic Competition Office (GVH) examines the market effects of artificial intelligence; since they believe that the explosive spread of new technology can distort competition in digital sectors and put consumers in a more vulnerable position, the national competition authority therefore maps the risks in advance. – the Competition Authority announced on Thursday.
According to their description, artificial intelligence (AI) is already affecting the everyday lives of consumers, often without them even knowing about it. With the rapid development of AI-based devices and their integration into already existing digital services, the technology may soon become a defining part of the everyday life of individuals and businesses, and eventually even of the state administration. Further development of AI-based technology and its law-abiding, fair application can contribute to economic and social benefits, but it also entails significant risks – they pointed out.
Only the largest tech giants have the extraordinary resources required for AI-based technology, and this one-step advantage may distort market competition in digital sectors in the future. Another problem mentioned is that AI-based technology can put consumers in a more vulnerable situation, as there are many data collection and advertising practices in the digital space that can be dangerous for consumers. By using artificial intelligence, businesses can raise the collection and use of consumer data to a new level, as well as the use of “dark patterns” and personalized advertising.
A prominent example of this risk is the operation of chatbots, where the consumer is not aware that the answer received from artificial intelligence is based on an authentic source or the result of a paid promotion. Therefore, the Hungarian competition authority pays special attention to the investigation of the market behavior of large technological companies and online platforms that influence the interests and situation of a significant number of consumers and businesses. In recent years, the GVH has paid competition correction obligations imposed on Google and PayPal, and Apple and Booking.com have paid significant competition supervision fines in Hungary.
The national competition authority is currently investigating the behavior of Viber, a member of the Rakuten group, and in 2023 initiated proceedings against Microsoft for possibly not adequately informing users about certain features of its search engine, which is supplemented with a chat function based on artificial intelligence. The GVH concluded its investigation of TikTok at the end of November, during which the Hungarian competition authority achieved results with a global impact – they announced.
The issue of artificial intelligence appears more and more frequently in proceedings against technology giants, so the market analysis that has just been launched also supports the effective competition supervision activities of the competition authority, they wrote.
The announcement containing the examination steps, schedule and other details of the market analysis is available on the website of the Economic Competition Office.