06.05.2021

Regulating Digital Platforms as Infrastructures for Services of General Interest

6 May 2021, 15h00 online discussion via ZOOM

NordWood Themes on Unsplash, https://unsplash.com/photos/yyMJNPgQ-X8

Currently several legislative proposals adapting the regulatory framework for digital platforms are being discussed at both national and European level. They have in common that they are primarily concerned with limiting the market power of the platforms and ensuring functioning competition. This is apparent at the European level with the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA), and true for national initiatives like the latest amendment to the German Act against Restraints of Competition (GWB-Novelle).

However, platform power is more than a competition problem: large digital platforms have become indispensable digital infrastructures for society. They are penetrating more and more areas of life where social participation, democracy, and the basic provision of essential services to the population are at stake. The question arises whether additional regulatory approaches are needed that do justice to the role of platforms as actors in the provision of services of general interest.

At our online roundtable Prof. Dr. Christoph Busch will present his report for the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung on regulating digital platforms as infrastructures for services of general interest (German version here, English version forthcoming). In the subsequent discussion we want to address the following questions with distinguished panelists and the audience: # How can we ensure that everyone can participate in and enjoys fair access to the basic infrastructures of the digital society? # What concrete obligations beyond competition law should be imposed on platforms? # How to adequately address the infrastructure power of platforms?

Speakers:

  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Busch, Universität Osnabrück
  • Evelyne Gebhardt MEP, Member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, S&D group
  • Michael Neuber, Google Germany
  • Lina Ehrig, Federation of German Consumer Organisations - vzbv

The event will be held in German with simultaneous interpretation into English.

This online roundtable will take place as a Zoom event. Please register via this registration link(https://www.fes.de/lnk/459) by 29 April 2021.

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