Platform regulation II (competition, contestability and innovation)
Giants of the tech sector have been at the heart of competition law enforcement in recent years. A considerable part of the enforcement action has involved the creative industries, as exemplified by ongoing legal fights between Apple and Epic (Fortnite) or Spotify. The perceived failures of enforcement have increasingly led to calls for regulation.
On 15 December 2020, the European Commission published its proposed Digital Markets Act, imposing a variety of obligations on digital ‘gatekeepers’ offering ‘core platform services’. The objective, it stated, was to ensure contestable and fair markets in the digital sector across the Union. This regulation follows the increased focus on digital platforms in the enforcement of EU competition law, which is continuing unabated even after the proposal of the DMA. The European Commission is far from alone in its enthusiasm to ensure ‘contestability’, ‘fairness’ and ‘competition’ in digital markets. The UK, Germany, France, the US, and many other jurisdictions have joined the fray, each with their own enforcement actions and proposals for regulation.
This project explores the obligations which will flow from the regulation of digital platforms and the tension between the protection of competition and objective to create contestable and fair markets. It also explores the new dynamics of market power, innovation, and consumer welfare, and the balance of interests between different right holders in the creative industry.