Powerful platforms, liberty in cyber space and regulatory approach – Upcoming talk by Dr Orla Lynskey (LSE)

We are delighted to announce that the next IP/IT/Media Law Discussion Group event will take place on Monday 25 April at 2pm in Neil MacCormick RoomDr Orla Lynskey from London School of Economics will present her latest research on:

‘Platform Power’: A Regulatory Riddle

‘Some online platforms have evolved to become players competing in many sectors of the economy and the way they use their market power raises a number of issues that warrant further analysis beyond the application of competition law in specific cases’.
Increasing regulatory and doctrinal attention is focused on the problem of so-called ‘platform power’. Yet calls for regulation of online platforms fail to identify the precise problems such regulation would target, and as a result appear to lack merit. In this paper, two claims are advanced. First, that the concept of ‘platform power’ is an unhelpful starting point for this discussion and will stunt desirable debate on this issue. It is suggested that gatekeeper theory provides a preferable point of departure for this discussion. Secondly, it claims that the concerns attributed to ‘platform power’ are diffuse. Moreover, these issues will fall in the blind spots of the purely economic analysis increasingly favoured by competition law and regulatory analysis. The debate on ‘platform power’ should therefore not be captured by economic discourse. It should seek instead to identify and describe a distinct form of power evident in the digital sphere, not yet falling within existing legal and regulatory frameworks.
A full paper of this talk is also available. If you are interested, please feel free to ask our co-convenor Jiahong (j.chen@ed.ac.uk) for a copy.
The talk will be followed by a Q&A section and refreshments will be provided. All students and staff are welcome.