Comms & Media | Working Paper
Designing an EU intervention standard for digital platforms
27 February 2020
A consensus is emerging around the world about the need for policymakers to address certain characteristics and competitive tendencies that are generated by digital platforms or digital ecosystems, with a view to reforming the public policy instruments currently in place so that they are fit for the digital age. The paper starts by reviewing the relevant precedents under EU competition law and economic regulation upon which this reform could be based. The paper then puts forward recommendations to adapt competition rules, in particular as regards the determination of market power (e.g., by better taking into account the effects of ecosystems, the impact of potential competition and the role of innovation) and the application of theories of harm (i.e. by focusing on leveraging and envelopment behaviour, access to key innovation capabilities, discrimination and self-preferencing and the violation of normative regulatory principles). The paper then proceeds to propose a cumulative 'three criteria test' to determine the types of digital platforms upon which competition rules, and possibly complementary regulation, should focus. These three criteria require an assessment of: (i) the existence of market structures which are highly concentrated and non-contestable; (ii) the presence of digital gatekeepers which act as unavoidable trading partners; (iii) and, for the purposes of ex ante regulation, the lack of effectiveness of competition rules to address the identified problems in the market. The paper also considers the types of remedies that could be imposed on those identified digital platforms, including: interoperability and access to key innovation capabilities such as data; the prohibition of anti-competitive discrimination; and the facilitation of consumer switching. Given the rapid evolution of technology and market uncertainty, consideration should be given as to whether these remedies should be imposed in a participatory manner with the industry stakeholders directly affected by the measures. Finally, the paper deals with a number of procedural and institutional issues raised by the adoption of such a legal standard, proposing to adapt existing antitrust guidelines, to extend the power of DG Competition to conduct fully fledged market investigations (as is the case in the UK and Australia) and possibly to work closely with National Regulatory Agencies, coordination with whom at EU level arguably needs to be strengthened.
logo cadmus Read it on Cadmus Download in open access

LATEST FSR PUBLICATIONS

Technical Report
Traditional approaches to electricity market design need adaptation to factor in the growing share of renewables in the energy mix. Energy transition in different parts of the world is taking [...]
Working Paper
In this paper, we investigate two main schemes for contracting demand-side flexibility by the Distribution System Operator (DSO) at the planning stage: a voluntary demand-side connection agreement where consumers offer [...]
Working Paper
This article will explain the characteristics of the financial side of energy markets. It aims to clarify why financial contracts are needed in the energy sector and how such transactions [...]
Other
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 compounded an already difficult policy landscape characterised by rising energy prices, international supply chains’ disruptions, growing greenhouse gas emissions and exacerbating geopolitical [...]
Book
For more than a decade, hundreds of experts have gathered at the hills overlooking Florence to analyse the evolution of European transport policy and regulation at the call of the [...]
Working Paper
On 14th February 2022, the European Commission published a ‘Call for evidence for an impact assessment’ (Call for Evidence) and Public Consultation related to a new framework for standard essential [...]

Join our community

To meet, discuss and learn in the channel that suits you best.

scroll

top