Gatekeepers are not exclusive to digital markets. Gatekeepers exist in many other industries such as banking, telecoms and energy. The new element introduced by digital gatekeepers is their scale and scope: There are digital gatekeepers that have a global scope, have millions of users and are present in several industries. The potential anticompetitive conducts of those digital gatekeepers might have a large impact over consumers. Banks have traditionally been the main gatekeepers and facilitators of the overall financial industry. The banking industry provides an illustration of an industry where regulation has been imposed to reduce the market power of gatekeepers. The analysis of such regulations shows that regulatory remedies necessarily have to be tailored to the relevant competition problems, to the characteristics of the industry and of the business models of the market participants. A too general regulation runs the risk of not being operational and creating uncertainties amongst market players.
By Juan Delgado1
Digital gatekeepers can be defined as entities that “have a high degree of control and influence over the relationship between buyers and sellers, or over access by advertisers to potential buyers” which gives these entities “three distinct forms of power: the ability to control access and charge high fees; the ability to manipulate rankings or prominence; and the ability to control reputations.”2 Gatekeepers are not exclu...