School of Transnational Governance

Digital Platforms: Towards a Comprehensive Policy Framework

Programme Start Date



14, 15, 16 & 17 December 2021

Delivery mode





1.200 €

Early bird

1.020 €

Application Deadline

30/11/2021 - 23:59 Italian time

Programme Description

Digital platforms have become a focal point in policy conversations across the world, while their regulation is a relatively new field, since originally online intermediaries have remained largely unregulated. On the one hand, digital platforms have been the source of increased consumer savings, job creation, and economic growth; on the other hand, they raise novel concerns, which current regulatory approaches and instruments do not appear well-equipped to address. The result has been the development of a complex policy discussion, not so much about “whether” to regulate digital platforms, but rather, on the difficulty of reaching consensus on “what”, “how” and “who” to regulate.

Several legal and regulatory approaches have been attempted over the past three decades. Antitrust rules on dominance and mergers have been mobilised to catch digital platforms’ problematic business conduct since the very outset of the personal computing age. The application of antitrust rules, whether in the form of ex ante merger control or ex post rules on single-firm conduct, is under reconsideration in several jurisdictions, in the attempt to develop instruments and standards that better match the peculiar economics of digital platforms. In the EU and Japan, lawmakers are also turning their eyes towards Platform-To-Business (P2B) relationships. The EU is currently proposing the adoption of a Digital Markets Act (DMA) that purports to improve the contestability of digital markets and the fairness of outcomes for professional users and consumers that depend on digital platforms. If adopted, the DSA has the potential to fundamentally change the way in which digital platforms intermediate businesses and end users demands. These rules are also being observed and analysed in other parts of the world, including in the United States, where digital platforms are increasingly under scrutiny due to their systemic importance in the political debate and in retail commerce.

Platform regulation is a subject likely to stay with us for a long time and change dynamically as digital technology evolves. The attendees of this course will be able to understand better how platforms operate, how they create value and how can they potentially act anti-competitively or extract value in their relationship with other businesses and end users. Importantly, understanding the different business models adopted by digital platforms is also important to discuss possible ways to implement and enforce the rules, traditionally a weak spot in policies for the digital economy worldwide.

Programme Structure

  1. Digital Platforms: a deep dive in the economic and technical features of online giants
  2. Digital Platforms and Competition Policy: emerging trends around the world, and a discussion of past/ongoing cases
  3. From Competition to Regulation: new policy trends in cyberspace
  4. Digital Platforms as Regulators: inside the transnational governance of cyberspace, and its possible impact

Target Audience

  • Government representatives/public administration
  • Policy-makers
  • Regulators
  • Private company representatives, in particular public policy leads of (multinational) corporations
  • NGOs
  • Field specific audiences (e.g. professional media associations for digital)



Fee 1.200 €

Early bird 1.020 €

Deadline for the early bird: 22/10/2021 at 23.59 PM CET

Deadline for applications: 30/11/2021 at 23.59 PM CET

What you will gain

After the end of this training participants will better understand:

  • How to distinguish pro- from anti-competitive conduct
  • The economics of multi-sided platforms and its relevance to policy
  • The intricacies of algorithmic practices in modern digital platforms
  • The trade-offs in designing policies for digital platforms
  • The evolving business models, the revenue mix and the commercial practices of digital platforms
  • The impact of digital platforms on innovation and industrial policy
  • How AI regulation in several countries may affect digital platforms
  • The opportunities and challenges of digital platforms for democracy and the protection of fundamental rights
  • The intersection between competition, regulation, data strategies, and AI policies in different jurisdictions
  • The interplay between domestic and transnational governance aspects of cyberspace
  • How to present and discuss topics related to digital platforms and Artificial Intelligence


Application deadline:
30/11/2021 - 23:59 Italian time

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