Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Further regulation of digital platforms is on the horizon. Three types of solution are posited: more aggressive use of competition law, a new dedicated competition law instrument for the European Commission that allows swifter and more effective intervention, and a fresh regulator for systemically significant platforms. The debate contains two gaps. First, at a substantive level the role of other rules is downplayed (e.g. data protection & consumer laws). In other words, the Commission and most commentators wishing for greater regulation look to new tools rather than considering the potential of existing rules. Second, at an institutional level little is said about the impact that the policy proposals may have on other rules and other regulatory authorities. This paper addresses these two issues: it suggests that there are other regulatory options to competition law that should be explored and that investments should be made in facilitating cooperation among regulators to optimize the regulation of attention intermediaries.