Platforms, Competition & Consumer Protection Issues Falling between Regulatory Stools?
Lecture delivered at the Summer School on Platform Governance organised between the Hans-Bredow-Institut (University of Hamburg), the Institute for Technology & Society of Rio de Janeiro, and the Centre for Communication Governance, National Law University, Delhi Campus.
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There has been a shift from tentative to coming of age in the regulatory stand on addressing competition and consumer protection issues arising from the power wielded by platform ecosystems. This is a positive development. Drawing upon the work of multi-lateral organisations and contemporary experts, this presentation touches on the economics and politics of this power, how it arises, proliferates and is abetted and the impact on the type of innovation we are getting and the type we need. It discusses the new thinking that underlies state-of-the-art regulatory frameworks in India, the EU and other jurisdictions. It makes recommendations on fit for purpose but also context regulation. It stresses the importance of regulation to protect and promote market competition instead of micro-managing enterprises, and the latter entails avoidable administrative and compliance costs. Finally, it emphasises the value of competitive markets in democratic societies.