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An Economic Policy Perspective on Online Platforms

Abstract: 

This report provides an overview of the relevant economic research literature on platforms or multi-sided online markets. It discusses platforms from a regulatory policy angle, including potential market failures in platforms, the extent of self-regulation and possible regulatory responses through existing competition policy, consumer protection and data protection instruments. It covers selected policy issues associated with these platforms including possible sources of bias in search engines and search rankings, data protection and the use of personal data in platforms, and platform liabilities within and beyond the e-commerce directive.