Over the past few years, online platforms have almost monopolized discussions in legal and policy circles. Various initiatives have recently culminated in legislative proposals. This contribution examines those proposals against the backdrop of rules regulating the media sector, which has characteristics similar to those of the platform economy. The paper discusses whether the proposals under consideration have taken stock of lessons learnt from the design and implementation of rules applicable to the media. It does so by focusing on the following four areas where useful analogies can be drawn between platform and media regulation: rules restricting concentration through presumptions of market power; the users’ role in controlling market power; mandated access to a valuable input; and merger control rules. Though some provisions indicate that the legislator has made the effort to avoid certain drawbacks arising from the design and enforcement of media regulation (e.g. ownership thresholds), other provisions (e.g. user-centric rules) show that our experience from the media sector is not properly reflected in those proposals.

By Dr. Konstantina Bania1

 

I. INTRODUCTION

Due to sector-specific economics, such as network effects and customer inertia, and the lack of appropriate regulation that could “tame” them, certain online platforms have engaged in various types of damaging conduct, ranging from user exploitation through the processing of excessive amounts

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