Principles for the governance and regulation of digital platforms

Should digital platforms be regulated using clear principles or presecriptive rules? How should regulators decide which platform markets to regulate?

Politicians and policy makers often start speeches about digital platforms by highlighting the extraordinary contribution platforms have made to the global economy: but follow such praise with a suggestion that some platforms and too big and too powerful and so need to be regulated. The regulation of the telecoms sector is often seen as a source of inspiration for platform regulation, but the dynamic, innovative and fast paced nature of platform markets poses unique challenges.

This edition of Hexagon, which is based on a White Paper by Launchworks & Co. co-authored by Benoit Reillier, Richard Cadman and Justin Coutts, addresses two questions:

·       Is principles-based regulation better suited to  digital platform markets than rules-based regulation?

·       How can regulators avoid the risk of over-regulation?