Online platforms and the obligation to contract competing services

Research output: Working paperResearch

Can platform-giants be obliged to feature the products of smaller businesses on their platform, even when it would mean that these products will compete with their own products? And what role does size play in determining whether a competing player can demand access? The paper starts with a discussion on the platforms’ freedom of contract as a fundamental right, and the necessary justifications to limit this freedom by imposing an obligation to contract. It continues with an exploration of the essential facility doctrine established in the case-law of the CJEU. By using the antitrust investigations on Apple’s App Store as a case study, it assesses to what extent this doctrine can be applied to impose an obligation to contract onto large-scale platforms in the European Union. Lastly, it will reflect on the interplay between the essential facilities doctrine and the rising ‘gatekeeper’-debate. To do so, it will outline the current definition of a gatekeeper and reflect on the need to distinguish between a gatekeeper and an essential facility.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 2021
SeriesOn-line Platforms as private governance systems – private law perspectives

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Law - platform regulation, online marketplaces, freedom of contract, obligation to contract, competition law, essential facilities doctrine, gatekeepers, Digital Markets Act

ID: 284420964