What is a gatekeeper? More than other terms of art that have gained currency in recent years, the notion of a “gatekeeper” holds particular potency in today’s environment.
In essence, the term “gatekeeper” seeks to capture the notion of a company or platform that mediates the public’s access to information and commerce. Obvious examples include the prominent search, social media and online commerce platforms that have gained significant economic power in recent decades.
Skeptics of the notion will point out that consumers retain the ability to choose between “gatekeepers,” as do the economic operators on the other side of the “gate.” Nonetheless, the economics of such two-sided platforms (as gatekeepers almost inevitably are) remain disputed, both in academic discourse and legal and enforcement practice.
The pieces in this Chronicle seek to address the state of the art in the debate surrounding the notion of “gatekeepers” and its relationship to contemporary antitrust practice. Each addresses a timely element of the debate from jurisdictions around the world, and seeks to contextualize the debate and draw out the contours of the notion of a “gatekeeper” as it applies in today’s environment.
As always, thank you to our great panel of authors.