Data plays a crucial role for society. Accordingly, building a ‘single market for data’ by increasing the availability of public and private data ranks high on the EU policy agenda. But when advancing legal data sharing regimes, there is an inevitable need to balance public and private interests. While the European Commission continues to push for more binding rules on data sharing between private businesses, public undertakings are already covered by mandatory rules. Exploring how the law addresses their data offers valuable lessons on the reconciliation of market reasoning with the public interest. In particular, this article inquires into the recast Open Data and Public Sector Information Directive, the Data Governance Act, and different national rules which regulate access to and re-use of public undertakings' data. It identifies five striking characteristics and discusses their potential and limitations for regulating data sharing by private undertakings. The implications serve as a guidepost for advancing the wider debate on building a single market for data in the EU. Some of them are already reflected in the upcoming EU Data Act.
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