Skip to main content
Centre for Commercial Law Studies

NVCL 2018-19: Increasing Consumers’ Trust in Digital Markets

5 October 2018

Time: 5:00 - 8:00pm
Venue: Centre for Commercial Law Studies, 67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3JB

Book now

The Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary University of London is pleased to announce the details of our annual seminar series ‘New Voices in Commercial Law’ (NVCL).

Now in its sixth year, the series aims to provide a forum for debate and an opportunity for attendees to hear early career academics with outstanding potential discuss their research in an intellectually stimulating environment.

The seminars are part of the academic programme of events of the UNIDROIT-QMUL Institute of Transnational Commercial Lawand they are convened by Dr Andromachi Georgosouli. Draft papers are circulated electronically in advance of each event to registered participants.

CCLS attendance certificates available on request. For more information email the CCLS Events Team on

Increasing Consumers’ Trust in Digital Markets

Speaker: Maria Ioannidou (QMUL, CCLS)
Discussant: A. Georogosouli (CCLS, QMUL)

Paper Abstract

Technological advancements have radically transformed consumers’ choice and empowered consumers. Yet, simultaneously, they have created new causes for consumer vulnerabilities and undermined consumers’ trust. This paper advances the claim that it is time to re-think consumer participation and enforcement tools in digital markets in order to tackle the emerging problem of “digital agoraphobia”. “Digital agoraphobia” connotes consumers’ fear, inability, apathy and lack of trust when engaging in various transactions on digital marketplaces. Despite the very substantial benefits of digital markets, this paper posits that in the light of their particular characteristics, consumer transactions entail a number of risks, which in turn complicate the exercise of consumer choice. Three main types of such constraints are identified. The first type is associated with the – seemingly – enhanced choice in online markets (“enhanced” choice constraints), whereas the second with the rather predominant model of free choice (“free” choice constraints). Finally, the third type of constraints relates to the increased delegation of choice making powers (“delegated” choice constraints). In light of these three main types of constraints on consumer choice, the paper argues that it is time to enhance procedural avenues for consumers’ participation and reconceptualise enforcement tools towards a “responsive” remodelling of competition law enforcement. 

About the author

Dr Maria Ioannidou is a Senior Lecturer in competition law at the School of Law, Queen Mary, University of London where she also serves as the Deputy Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Competition Law and Policy. Previously, she was a Lecturer in law at the University of Surrey. She has also practiced competition law in leading law firms in Athens, Greece and Brussels, Belgium. Maria studied law in Athens (BA, LLM) and Oxford (MJur, MPhil, Dphil. Her areas of interest include EU, UK and international competition law, competition law enforcement and the interaction between competition and consumer law. She is the managing editor for the Journal of Antitrust Enforcement and as an editor of the World Competition Law and Economics Review and the author of ‘Consumer Involvement in Private Competition Law Enforcement’ (OUP 2015).


Registration: 17.00 - 17.30

Session: From 17.30


For directions to the venue, please refer to the map.

How to book

This event is free but prior booking is required. Register online via Eventbrite.

Please select the seminar(s) you wish you attend.


For more information, please contact the CCLS Events Team on

Photography, video and audio recording

Please note that CCLS events may be photographed or video and audio recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by Queen Mary University of London. If you object to appearing in the photographs, please let our photographer know on the day. Alternatively you can email the CCLS Events Team on in advance of the event that you are attending.

Back to top