Regulating digital platforms to encourage competition

Digital platforms deliver digital services such as e-commerce, social media, and a wide variety of cloud-based services. Until very recently digital platforms were virtually unregulated, but now it is recognised that the rise of these platforms has also created problems. There is now a growing consensus that this should change – specifically how should digital platforms be regulated to protect consumers against harm, preserve the democratic process, and enable competitive markets? In this paper we focus on the last of these three questions – whilst recognising that whatever regulation is applied to enable competition may both contribute to, and conflict with, measures designed to preserve the democratic process or protect consumers.