Taming Gatekeepers—But Which Ones?

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The authors discuss approaches that have been proposed in the EU, UK and Germany to prevent potential anticompetitive conduct by dominant companies in the digital economy.

Several European jurisdictions are currently considering an overhaul of their competition policy approach toward dominant companies in the digital economy. A common theme is that competition authorities or newly created ‘digital markets agencies’ could be given the power to regulate dominant companies with a special gatekeeper status. As an important first step in this new regulatory approach, policymakers have specified the criteria for identifying the firms, or gatekeepers, that will be subject to regulation.

In this article, the authors discuss the criteria that have been proposed in the EU, UK and Germany for assigning gatekeeper status to digital platforms. The authors highlight advantages and disadvantages of different approaches, and address challenges that practitioners may face in their implementation. In addition, they identify potentially far-reaching consequences that may arise as a result of inconsistencies in the proposed criteria across jurisdictions.

This article was originally published by Competition Policy International in February 2021.


The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors, who are responsible for the content, and do not necessarily represent the views of Cornerstone Research.

Taming Gatekeepers—But Which Ones?

Authors

  • Boston | London

Vivek Mani

Vice President

Marc Rysman

Professor of Economics,
Boston University