Reconciling private market governance and law: A policy primer for digital platforms 

This paper, launched at a Lisbon Council event in Brussels, considers the opportunities and anxieties in relation to digital platforms, and develops a policy appraisal framework in relation to digital platforms. Digital platforms compete to serve the interests of participants in the market, including crafting rules - embodied in codes of conduct and software code - that grow the market and help address market imperfections. Further, digital platforms are heterogeneous and no flavour of ‘platform regulation’ is likely to be appropriate across the entire economy. A common theme is that digital platform market governance (‘code’) needs to be reconciled with law and regulation; rather than thinking of law as something that should be imposed on a market which might otherwise be considered 'lawless’. This perspective requires a different approach to thinking about regulation, and may require new institutional approaches.