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Platforms as regulators

Platforms as regulators The proposition that certain digital platforms act as ‘regulators’ within their own business models is a key pillar of the European Commission report on Competition Policy for the Digital Era, and the basis upon which its authors build a wide-ranging duty for dominant platforms to secure competition that is ‘fair, unbiased and pro-users’. This article seeks to shed light on this novel contention, exploring its meaning and the implications for platform operators. It considers the rationale provided within the report and compares the approach with established Article 102 TFEU case law, specifically the ‘special responsibility’ doctrine. Consideration is further given to whether the platforms-as-regulators notion aligns with alternative modes of regulation within the digital sphere. The aim is to explore whether this approach is coherent, and actually useful, as a means by which to frame and direct future enforcement against digital platforms. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Antitrust Enforcement Oxford University Press

Platforms as regulators

Journal of Antitrust Enforcement , Volume 9 (2): 26 – Dec 3, 2020

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
ISSN
2050-0688
eISSN
2050-0696
DOI
10.1093/jaenfo/jnaa052
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The proposition that certain digital platforms act as ‘regulators’ within their own business models is a key pillar of the European Commission report on Competition Policy for the Digital Era, and the basis upon which its authors build a wide-ranging duty for dominant platforms to secure competition that is ‘fair, unbiased and pro-users’. This article seeks to shed light on this novel contention, exploring its meaning and the implications for platform operators. It considers the rationale provided within the report and compares the approach with established Article 102 TFEU case law, specifically the ‘special responsibility’ doctrine. Consideration is further given to whether the platforms-as-regulators notion aligns with alternative modes of regulation within the digital sphere. The aim is to explore whether this approach is coherent, and actually useful, as a means by which to frame and direct future enforcement against digital platforms.

Journal

Journal of Antitrust EnforcementOxford University Press

Published: Dec 3, 2020

Keywords: Competition law, regulation, digital platforms, special responsibility doctrine, gatekeepers; K21, K23, K24

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