Legislation on digital platform giants: The future of competition law?

Legislative initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic focus on giant digital platforms – the Digital Markets Act in the EU, platform bills before the US Congress. They are best viewed as an attempt to correct historical mistakes and restore some measure of competition to these markets. These initiatives foster competition around digital platforms, so as to enable incremental innovation to play out. Most importantly, they include the first meaningful, albeit tentative, measures to encourage disruptive innovation, through stricter merger control and interoperability obligations. They point to an evolutionary path for competition law.

In the eyes of many, the proposed Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the platform bills now before the US Congress herald the abandonment of competition/antitrust enforcement and the dawn of a regulatory era for the giant digital platform operators that they target (conveniently referred to as GAFA, an acronym for the four most obvious ones—Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple—even if more than four firms might be targeted in the end). It is true that the European Commission has gone to great lengths to emphasize that its proposal should not be seen as competition law, for various tactical reasons that we will not review here. On the other side of the Atlantic, the related platform bills tabled in the House of Representatives—American Choice and Innovation Online Act, Platform Competition and

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Pierre Larouche, Legislation on digital platform giants: The future of competition law?, February 2022, Concurrences N° 1-2022, Art. N° 104207, pp.2-4

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