The Platform Policy Puzzle: Forms of Regulating Multi-Sided Platforms in Nine European Cities

Nathalie Jayne Williams & Felicia Nathhorst Malmgren

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

It is no surprise that many believe platforms are a 21st-century tech innovation given the hype around emerging platform businesses in this day and age. Driven by rapid technological advancements, MultiSided Platforms have disrupted a vast majority of established industries in the past two decades. However, incumbent firms are raising concerns regarding unfair competition, labourers about the lack of social benefits, tax authorities about the loss of income, citizens about increasing housing prices, the list goes on. The common denominator is that, due to their technological infrastructure, platforms have often been able to circumvent existing legislation. Although qualitative research has been done regarding forms of regulating MSPs, little quantitative research has been done. In order to bridge this gap, a mixed method approach is adopted analysing effective forms of regulation MSPs. In order to contextualise the study nine cities within Europe has been chosen, namely: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Lisbon, London, Paris, and Vienna. By grouping the cities based on their regulatory motivation, the effect of the various forms of regulation have been analysed in order to answer the research question at hand. The study found that the motives behind a city’s regulatory intervention play a crucial role in what forms of regulation is implemented. Furthermore, cities can introduce the same regulatory mechanism to address certain policy issues although having different underlying motives. The effect of regulatory intervention varies across the cities with the level of enforcement playing an essential role. A transparent relationship between MSP and legislators with the sharing of both data and knowledge to make informed decisions is necessary. By adopting a coregulatory approach and involving outside intermediary parties, legislation can be more flexible and unfragmented. The existing regulatory environment does not suit the rapidly evolving digital age we are living in.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and E-business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages173
SupervisorsPhilipp Hukal