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Columbia Law School

Columbia Law Review

2019

Business Organizations Law

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The Separation Of Platforms And Commerce, Lina M. Khan Jan 2019

The Separation Of Platforms And Commerce, Lina M. Khan

Faculty Scholarship

A handful of digital platforms mediate a growing share of online commerce and communications. By structuring access to markets, these firms function as gatekeepers for billions of dollars in economic activity. One feature dominant digital platforms share is that they have inte­grated across business lines such that they both operate a platform and market their own goods and services on it. This structure places domi­nant platforms in direct competition with some of the businesses that de­pend on them, creating a conflict of interest that platforms can exploit to further entrench their dominance, thwart competition, and stifle innovation ...