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Project: Competition & Markets

Platform regulation I (AHRC PEC)

Posted on    by Bartolomeo Meletti

Platform regulation I (AHRC PEC)


Objectives: To map global trends, develop an analytical frame that allows assessment of implications for creative industries, and engage UK agencies in new approaches.  

Regulatory concern about internet platforms is directly related to the production, circulation and consumption of creative content. Some derives from public unease about how content might harm individuals and groups. There is also growing concern about the impact of surveillance, untrammelled control over data by third parties, and loss of individual privacy prominently discussed by Zuboff (2019). This includes worries about cross-border interference in democratic process and the flow of disinformation in the guise of news. Platforms and the content they distribute have also become central to the crisis of democratic institutions in the context of current geopolitical competition. The development of different models of regulation has become a key policy issue. Earlier debates about totalitarianism and democracy are being revisited on new ground.  

The first phase of the project provides an empirical mapping of the UK regulatory landscape. It examines the statutory basis and duties of key UK regulators and looks ahead to potential new responsibilities. We anticipate that following the mapping exercise and initial agency dialogue, specific further sub-projects will crystallise.


AHRC Centre of Excellence for Policy & Evidence in the Creative Industries (PEC)  (reference: AH/S001298/1)


Martin Kretschmer
Principal Investigator

Philip Schlesinger

Ula Furgal
Postdoctoral Research Associate




Platform Regulation resources page provides a gateway to the project and its findings.



Erickson, K. and Kretschmer, M. (2020). Empirical approaches to Intermediary Liability. In G. Frosio (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Online Intermediary Liability (pp. 104-121). Oxford, OUP. Pre-print available as CREATe Working Paper 2019/09.

Schlesinger., P. (2020). After the post public sphere. Media, Culture and Society, 42(7-8), 1545-1563. Pre-print available as CREATe Working Paper 2020/09.

Kretschmer, M., Furgał U. and Schlesinger, P. (2021) The emergence of platform regulation in the UK: an empirical-legal study. PEC Discussion Paper and CREATe Working Paper.

Kretschmer, M., Furgał, U. and Schlesinger, P. (2021) The Regulation of Online Platforms:Mapping an emergent regulatory field. PEC Policy Brief (2 June 2021).


Events, blogs, citations

The regulation of internet platforms panel at European Intellectual Property and its Limits (University of Bournemouth, 16 January 2019. A panel sponsored by CREATe, University of Glasgow.

Copyright Politics in the Age of Platform Capitalism talk by Martin Kretschmer at Right the Right. Ideas for Music, Copyright and Access (Berlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), 21-24 November 2019). The recording of the talk is available here.

M. Kretschmer’s interview with Wired for Here’s why the UK is (finally) dumping Article 13 for good by Will Bedingfield (25 January 2020).

P. Schlesinger & M. Kretschmer. The changing shape of platform regulation. Media@LSE blog (18 February 2020).

M. Kretschmer. Regulatory divergence post Brexit: Copyright law as an indicator for what is to come. EU Law Analysis Blog and Kluwer Copyright Blog (18 February 2020).

Platform regulation project launch at AHRC Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre: New empirical research on Intellectual Property litigation and Platform regulation. (London, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 26 February 2020). M. Kretschmer, P. Schesinger and U. Furgal presented the early findings of the UK mapping study. The discussion following the presentation was joined by the representatives of five key UK agencies: Ofcom, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Information Commissioner Office (ICO), Intellectual Property Office (IPO), and Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI). The write-up of the presentation and discussion is available on Platform Regulation resource page.

M. Kretschmer. UK sovereignty: A challenge for the creative industries. Blog for AHRC Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre (21 July 2020). Blog reposted on CREATe page.

Platform Regulation and the Digital Single Market panel at the 2020 Annual Conference of European Policy for Intellectual Property (online, 9 September 2020).  Participants: M. Kretschmer (chair), N. Helberger, J. Hofmann, P. Samuelson, P. Schlesinger & S. Schwemer. 

U. Furgal. Making Google and Facebook pay? Comparing the EU press publishers’ right and Australian Draft Media Bargaining Code. Blog for CREATe page (15 September). A post inspired by CREATe and IPRIA (University of Melbourne) submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) consultation on the Draft Media Bargaining Code.

K. Patterson. Why regulating the public sphere matters more than ever. Blog for AHRC Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre (27 November 2020). Blog reposted on CREATe page. Blog about work of P. Schlesinger.

M. Kretschmer. Gating the Gatekeepers. Blog for AHRC Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre (17 December 2020). Blog reposted on CREATe page.

Copyright and Platforms: A new approach presentation by M. Kretschmer at Westminster Media Forum “Next steps for UK copyright policy and regulation” (11 February 2021).

M. Kretschmer interview with Wall Street Journal for Facebook Fight Over Media Payments Shifts Focus to Europe: As EU adopts a new copyright law, some call for stricter measures against big tech firms by Daniel Michaels and Sam Schechner (25 February 2021). Cited as: copyright law is the wrong tool because it shouldn’t prevent news content from being linked to or quoted. “To tackle this issue, you need to shift market power. The Copyright Directive is already yesterday’s law.”

The emergence of platform regulation in the UK:  an empirical-legal study a presentation by Martin Kretschmer, Ula Furgał, and Philip Schlesinger at the opening session on ‘Comparative Platform Regulation’, Platform Governance Research Network Conference (24 March 2021).

The strategic centrality of platform regulation’ a presentation by Philip Schlesinger in panel discussion on ‘Regulation, Policy and Governance: Unpacking Keywords in Digital Communications Policy’ at ‘Engaging the Essential Work of Care: Communication, Connectedness, and Social Justice,  71st Annual Conference of the International Communications Association (27-31 May 2021).

T. Flew and P. Schlesinger, Digital Platforms: Regulation and Governance, CREATe blog (22 June 2021).