European Commission To Release Consultation On Online Platforms

BY Heather Greenfield
September 22, 2015

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission is expected to release its platform consultation Thursday, a questionnaire asking for input on online platforms and their impact on consumers. The Computer & Communications Industry Association will be among those responding to the consultation that is seen as a step to gather information in order to perform a ‘comprehensive assessment’ of online platform markets.

The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe Vice President James Waterworth:

“The Commission has set itself a major task in assessing the role of online platforms. Firstly it is going to need to accurately define what an online platform is as there is much confusion. For the CCIA it is clear that a platform is a place where buyers and sellers meet like a stock exchange, a newspaper or increasingly a car infotainment system. All of these are now online, not just the services of born-digital companies.”

“Secondly, the Commission is going to need to be precise about what problems underpin this exercise. Currently it is not clear if there are problems, let alone what they are.”’

“Thirdly, as the assessment evolves it will be important to ask if existing law, such as European competition law, is able to cope with any concerns. The Internet economy is such highly dynamic space that a premature intervention would only serve to reinforce the position of existing companies and build obstacles to new ones.”

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