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Archive for April 1st, 2019

EU Competition Law and Multi-Sided Platforms: Lessons from the case law

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case law

There is much noise and too little law in many of the ongoing debates about multi-sided platforms (digital or not). For quite a while now I have been hoping to have the time to finish an article developing my view of the relevant EU case law, but I’m now coming to terms with the fact that this moment may not come in the short term.

In the meantime, here are a few slides I have used at a couple of recent events, where you will see some ideas sketched: EU Competition Law and Multi-Sided Platforms (Lamadrid)

Proposals to reform the system and create new rules are now common, and they often criticize the case law for offering unsatisfactory solutions. Until recently EU case law was criticized for being to harsh on dominant companies; more recently, it has been criticized for being too lenient. To reach these conclusions, commentators often mischaracterize the Court’s reasoning, resorting to flawed statistics or to isolated dicta.

In my view, EU case law offers a balanced approach and a sensible and prudent analytical framework to deal with the competitive ambiguity of these business models. In some cases the lessons could not be clearer. In other cases one simply has to connect the dots. Whether one wants to follow, ignore or throw away the case law, it would make sense to understand it first.

[Disclaimer and Recommendation: Since one could always legitimately claim I am one-sided, I suggest you go directly to the sources and read the case law cited in the slides, don’t take my word for granted and come to your own view. Any comments that I might (one day…) use for my piece would be most welcome!)

Written by Alfonso Lamadrid

1 April 2019 at 4:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized