Sources of Tech Platform Power
2 Georgetown Law Technology Review 325 (2018)
10 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2020
Date Written: July 1, 2018
A handful of tech platforms mediate a large and growing share of our commerce and communications. Over the last year, the public has come to realize that the power these firms wield may pose significant hazards. Despite growing recognition of platform power, public conversation about why this power exists and what to do about it is still in its early stages. This essay seeks to advance that discussion. Part I identifies forms of platform power, identifying gatekeeper power, vertical integration, and information asymmetries, and explores how this power is being or could be exploited. Part II examines historical analogies for these forms of power and identifies legal hooks that could help us tackle it.
Keywords: technology platforms, antimonopoly
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