Observatory on the Online Platform Economy. Final Report: Uncovering blindspots in the policy debate on platform power

by Maria Bianca Armiento

The Expert Group for the Observatory on the Online Platform Economy (European Commission) published the Final report “Uncovering blindspots in the policy debate on platform power” (March, 2021).

The report discusses some aspects of the platform economy power that could have not been adequately examined before. Therefore, potential sources of platform power (such as the possibility to act as gatekeepers, network effects, and data availability) are investigated. In addition, several notions of power are addressed, i.e. power over businesses, over consumers, and over society and democracy.

This report maps different sources and types of power in the platform economy by bringing together existing insights from various disciplines such as law, economics, political science and business strategy. The various strands of research are connected with current policy discussions on how to design and implement platform regulation. The objective is to uncover elements of platform power that deserve more attention, both in relation to the application of current legal regimes and with regard to the development of future regulatory frameworks

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