Understanding online platforms
21 December 2015
While platforms can operate online and offline, the internet has created new opportunities to lower transaction costs by linking users. Recently, there have been calls at EU level for a special regulatory framework for online platforms. However, there are concerns that regulation would be inappropriate because it could not be sector-specific, as platforms operate across a wide range of sectors, with many different business models and pricing structures. Additionally, premature intervention might do more harm than good. Online platforms are a very recent phenomenon in a highly dynamic and competitive environment which regulation could stifle.