This article addresses the problem of platform power by probing current regulatory frameworks' basic assumptions about how tech firms operate in digital ecosystems. Platform power is generally assessed in terms of economic markets in which individual corporate actors harness technological innovations to compete fairly, thereby maximising consumer welfare. We propose three paradigmatic shifts in the conceptualisation of platform power. First, we suggest to expand the notion of consumer welfare to citizen wellbeing, hence addressing a broader scope of platform services' beneficiaries. Second, we recommend considering platform companies as part of an integrated platform ecosystem, acknowledging its interrelational, dynamic structure. And third, we shift attention from markets as level playing fields towards societal platform infrastructures where hierarchies and dependencies are built into their architecture. Reframing platform power may be a necessary condition for updating and integrating current regulatory regimes and policy proposals.
Platform regulation Platform infrastructures Platform power Antitrust regulation Tech companies