Comparative-Historical Perspectives on Platform Capitalism

This research project focuses on the origins and evolution of political-economic institutions in the rich democracies, together with the impact they exercise on contemporary political outcomes. New global giants such as Amazon and Google have put competition and antitrust policy at the top of the public policy agenda. A first goal, therefore, is to complete a study that situates research on regulation of these new platform firms within a broader comparative-historical perspective, focusing on a comparison of Germany and the United States. Beyond this, in a wide range of industries the advent of the new platform business model poses a host of new challenges to existing labor relations and collective bargaining regimes. Thus, a second goal is to advance our understanding of cross-nationally divergent responses to the labor issues raised by the growth of platform firms and the growth in various forms of “atypical” employment in a range of industries. This focus group is led by Hans Fischer Senior Fellow Prof. Kathleen Thelen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and her host Prof. Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt.

Workshop: Markets and Governance in the Digital Economy

Friday, May 19, 2023


Welcome & Introduction

09:30h Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt & Kathleen Thelen


Panel I: EU Digital Governance

Chair: Florence Dafe

Discussant: Abraham Newman


09:45h Patrick Baldes

The European Way of Regulating Big Tech: How Preference Convergence and Inter-institutional Bargaining Matter


Catherine Hoeffler & Frédéric Mérand

Governing Digital Markets as Industrial Policy: The Victory of French Economic Ideas?

11:15h Elena Rios Camacho & Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt

Towards a Single Digital Finance Market for Europe? The European Commission as a Transformational Leader




Panel II: Platform Power

Chair: Tony Müller

Discussant: Kathleen Thelen


13:00h Guillaume Beaumier & Abraham Newman When Serving the Public Interest Generates Private Gains: Private Actor Governance and Two-Sided Digital Markets
13:45h Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt & Florence Dafe The Disruptive Power of Digital Platforms
14:30h Ahmed Maati & Stefan Wurster Online Privacy Regulations: Does Regime Type Matter?




Panel III: Antitrust

Chair: Elena Rios Chamacho

Discussants: Ben Schneider (Paper 1-2) & Catherine Hoeffler (Paper 3-4)


15:30h Melike Arslan

Competition Laws in the Periphery: Institutional Weaknesses and Agency Strategies in Mexico

16:00h Vellah Kedogo Kigwiru The Limits and Potential of Competition Law in Protecting Platform Workers’ Right to Collective Bargaining: The Case of Kenya’s E-Hailing Market
16:30h Chase Foster & Sebastian Kohl

Competition Law and Coordinated Market Economies: A Long-Run Empirical Analysis

17:00h Tim Büthe The Politics of Institutional Change: The Regulation of Competition and Mergers in the European Union 


Next Steps

17:30h Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt & Kathleen Thelen



Munich School of Politics and Public Policy

Richard-Wagner-Str. 1

80333 Munich 

Room H.414 (4th floor)

This event is sponsered by the Chair of European and Global Governance and the Technical University of Munich’s Institute for Advanced Study.