How to Regulate Digital Platforms: A Database

Over the past couple of years, many antitrust authorities commissioned expert groups or released working papers addressing different areas of digital policy. For the first time, we consolidated all those reports onto a single page. Help us update it when new studies come out. 

 

 

 

In September 2019, the Stigler Center released the Stigler Report on Digital Platforms, an independent study that addressed the challenges posed by digital platforms for antitrust, data protection, democracy, and the news media.

 

The Stigler Report was not alone. Over the past couple of years, many authorities commissioned expert groups or released working papers addressing different areas of digital policy. Well-known examples include the Furman Report in the UK, the Special Advisers report in the EU, and the Digital Platforms Inquiry by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

 

These studies, whoever, are spread around multiple different websites, many of them difficult to navigate. In order to address this, we consolidated the independent reports we are aware of onto a single page. For example, in September 2019 the BRICS competition authorities released twin reports on the evolution of competition policy, one drafted by regulators and another by academics.

 

 

Two months ago, the JFTC in Japan released guidelines on the bargaining power of digital platforms. Both the French Autorité de la Concurrence and the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK released market studies on (the lack of) competition in digital advertising markets—an area we will soon cover in more detail in this space. The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets published two very interesting documents, one a market study on market power in App Stores and another on how Non Brand-Bidding Agreements might impact price competition in online travel agencies. German authorities have released or commissioned six reports on this topic by now—beaten only by the UK, with seven. There are also documents from Portugal, Mexico, Canada, Italy and multi-lateral organizations such as the OECD, UNCTAD, and CEPAL.

 

We hope that those interested in this fascinating and fast-developing area will find different and interesting resources. The combination of this body of studies has brought about overwhelming evidence on the multiple problems of digital markets. Indeed, the discourse is finally changing towards proper regulation of digital platforms—even major players like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple are starting to openly address the need for sectoral regulation, trying to stay ahead of what looks like an inevitable shift in public policy.

 

We are certain that more in-depth, independent studies will come along and join the fray. Our idea is to keep this resources page updated.

 

For this, we count on your support. If you are aware of a new study or believe we are missing something relevant, please send it to filippolancieri@uchicago.edu

 

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