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TAP Digital Platform Regulation Conference Student Papers

Our basis for this project on digital platforms is that antitrust enforcement will not be enough – by itself – to generate competition and good outcomes for consumers. Particularly given the slow start to antitrust enforcement in this sector, some sort of US regulation of digital platforms will be needed going forward, just as Europe has recently adopted the DMA and the DSA. US citizens and consumers will benefit if that regulation promotes competition and innovation. 

Yale students have come together to write a collection of policy papers on important issues in digital platform regulation. The papers address questions such as:  What kind of agency will be best to regulate platforms? How could rulemaking be designed to increase competition? What are technical means to create interoperability? How should algorithms be evaluated? How can blockchain be used anticompetitively? How would the divestiture of the Android operating system change competition in general search? 

Regulation can have many goals including protection of consumers, redistribution of surplus, elimination of bias, promotion of innovation, and importantly, protection and enhancement of competition. The TAP approach is to think of competition as a ‘whole of government’ activity, and therefore regulation of digital platforms is another tool to strengthen competition in this sector. The regulatory ideas that follow are designed to be pro-competitive: they lower barriers to entry, make product attributes salient to consumers, and lower switching costs (e.g. a privacy regulation should not entrench the dominant firm and raise entry barriers). Carefully designed regulations on privacy, security, portability, interoperability, etc., make competition stronger. 

Student paper topics follow along with the names of the authors.