Competition Cases Involving Platforms: Lessons from Europe

7 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2018

See all articles by Nicolas Petit

Nicolas Petit

University of Liege - School of Law; Hoover Institution

Date Written: October 17, 2018


Some academics and public intellectuals who lobby for an “antitrust counterrevolution” steeped in politics and not economics implicate the power of large technology platforms (“tech platforms”) in terms of “structural dominance”. The notion, it is sometimes heard, can be traced to a European culture of strong competition policy known as “ordoliberalism”. In this short policy note, I clarify that attempts to search guidance for an “antitrust counterrevolution” in European competition policy are misguided. I first explain why there are no parallels to draw between the ongoing US “political” antitrust revival and European competition history. I then move on to describe that the dominant feature of European competition law is experimentalism, not structuralism. I finally share my personal understanding of the contemporary European approach to competition policy in the tech sector. This note was initially submitted as a "public comment" to the US Federal Trade Commission hearings on competiition and consumer protection in the 21st century.

Keywords: Antitrust; monopoly; ordoliberalism; technology; platforms; US law; European Union

JEL Classification: K20, K21, L41, L4, L10, L20

Suggested Citation

Petit, Nicolas, Competition Cases Involving Platforms: Lessons from Europe (October 17, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Nicolas Petit (Contact Author)

University of Liege - School of Law ( email )

B-4000 Liege

Hoover Institution ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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