Data-driven mergers
Joint digital economics seminar (Alexandre De Cornière)
Université Catholique de Louvain-la-neuve

Designing Inclusive Platforms
Joint digital economics seminar (Michael Luca )
Université Catholique de Louvain-la-neuve

When ‘the’ market loses its relevance: an empirical analysis of demand-side linkages in platform ecosystems
Joint digital economics seminar (Bruno Carballa Smichowski)
Université Catholique de Louvain-la-neuve

Efficient copyright filters for online hosting platforms
Joint digital economics seminar (Alessandro De Chiara)
Université Catholique de Louvain-la-neuve

Regulating Privacy Online: An Economic Evaluation of the GDPR
Joint digital-economics seminar (Garrett Johnson)
Université Catholique de Louvain-la-neuve

Sharing economy platforms have become a significant market participant in the global economy. Consequently, а level of attention of legal scholars and national legislators to contracting through these platforms, especially regarding consumer protection, increases. The subject of previous research in this field has been different aspects of triangular relationship between platform operators, sellers (traders or prosumers), and consumers, which are the main actors in sharing economy. It was specifically made clear that there are myriad examples where platform operators exceed the role of mere intermediators between a seller and consumer, in which situations stricter rules as regards their liability towards consumers are needed. However, such rules have not been sufficiently developed yet, which makes consumers’ position on sharing economy platforms unsettled and shaky, particularly when they contract with sellers who may not be considered as  traders. In that case, consumers can rely neither on the body of rules that regulates platforms’ liability (since it does not exist or is not sufficiently developed) nor on the specific consumer law rules (because the main assumption for application of these rules – contract between a trader and consumer – does not exist).

This paper deals with the position of consumers who conclude contracts with non-traders through sharing economy platforms. The principal objective of the paper is to explore different possibilities for the enhancement of their position. The author will investigate two main research questions: 1) which consumer rights would improve consumers’ position in the sharing economy platform (special attention will be paid to the possibility of application of withdrawal right), 2) when is application of certain consumers’ rights justified, despite non-existence of relationship between trader and consumer. These questions will be investigated from international and European perspectives, while certain insights, where appropriate, will be given from the perspective of Western Balkans countries as well.

Ad clutter, time use, and media divesity
UCLouvain economics seminar (Martin Peitz)
Université Catholique de Louvain-la-neuve

Hybrid platform model
UCLouvain economics seminar (Özlem Bedre-Defolie )
Université Catholique de Louvain-la-neuve

Migration between platforms
UCLouvain economics seminar
(Jacques Crémer)
Université Catholique de Louvain-la-neuve

Abstract: We study incumbency advantage in platform industries, where the utility of participating in a platform is increasing in the mass of users participating in that platform. Individuals receive stochastic opportunities to migrate from an incumbent to a new (entrant) platform, which they can accept or wait until the next opportunity arises. Individuals have an incentive to delay migration until enough other users have migrated, which provides a micro-foundation for incumbency advantage. When users obtain more frequent migration opportunities, the cost of delaying migration is reduced, so incumbency advantage increases. Migration technologies that allow for large groups of individuals to migrate in a short period of time (i.e., coordination) are also associated with higher incumbency advantage. There always exists some capacity constraint by the entrant which increases the cost of delaying migration and thereby reduces incumbency advantage. Multi-homing reduces incumbency advantage but does not eliminate it. When individuals have heterogeneous preferences for the two platforms, there can be welfare losses due to excessive segregation of individuals across the platforms.