The UK’s House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee has launched a public consultation on online platforms in the EU Digital Single Market, in the context of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy. Written submissions to the inquiry are being accepted now, via the link above, until October 16th.
“Online platforms range from marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, to sharing economy platforms such as Airbnb and Uber, to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter,” states the consultation page. “With a billion people recently using Facebook in a single day, the extent of our use of online platforms continues to hit new heights.”
The concerns driving the inquiry, articulated in the Digital Single Market Strategy, are that “platforms generate, accumulate and control an enormous amount of data about their customers and use algorithms to turn this into usable information. The growth of such data is exponential – 90% of all data circulating on the Internet were created less than 2 years ago … some platforms can control access to online markets and can exercise significant influence over how various players in the market are remunerated. This has led to a number of concerns over the growing market power of some platforms.”
One hopes that an EC-led probe into this area isn’t going to be an exercise in anti-Americanism fueled by European pique and vested interest lobbies. In any case, if you want to throw in your contribution to it, now is the time.