Developing Platform Economies
The concept of platforms has emerged in recent years as one of the most important concepts of the digital economy. Are genuinely new ways of running companies and organizing work and capital investments emerging? And what implications does this have on European innovation, incumbent market players and consumers?
Platforms enable a great number of new, rationalized ways of organizing society; but they are also based in an element of control since users are forced to adapt their actions to computer programming. A few platform-based corporations (Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft) have gained massive global influence since not only users but also a long list of other societal actors have become dependent on the services provided by these global companies. Many smaller platform corporations are also dependent on them in various ways.
Are new ways of running companies and organizing work and capital investments emerging? What implications does this have on European innovation, incumbent market players and consumers? Are we, in fact, observing new forms of monopoly? What are the key regulatory questions and what fields needs more investigation before regulations are drafted?
One consistent theme throughout this report concerns the question of how we, as a society, can benefit from the many advantages presented by these platforms while simultaneously managing the harmful effects and newly emerged vulnerabilities that may be built in to these infrastructures.
This project is managed by Dr Stefan Larsson, head of the Digital Society Program at the Swedish Think Tank Fores, and implemented in collaboration with NEOS Lab in Austria and the European Liberal Forum (ELF).
If you have any questions regarding this project or the Digital Society Program, please contact
Senior researcher and Head of the Digital Society Programme, Fores
Project manager at the Digital Society Programme, Fores