Chaired by Elizabeth Crossick: Head of Gov Relations @ RELX
On Thursday 26th November, we were pleased to be joined by Maria da Graça Carvalho, Dr Leandro Pecchia, and Bartek Telejko for their expert views on the debate surrounding the regulation of gatekeeping platforms.
It was stressed by Maria da Graça Carvalho that the openness of the market must remain, the EU must be able to intervene before a dominant market force is able to raise costs for other emerging competitors. The hope is that the single digital market will continue to be a place where innovation and competition can occur.
Dr Leandro Pecchia explained from the prospective of someone who is helping to develop a digital platform for AI, IOT, and Big Data in healthcare. He explained that one of the most important factors in building gatekeeper platforms is enabling the public to have confidence in any systems that are being developed. This will help build trust and allows these platforms to flourish.
Bartek Telejko made it clear that gatekeepers should not be defined by their most popular product. The example that he gave was Google's expansion into the cloud market, where they currently only make up 12%. It was argued that making Google a gatekeeper in this market, based off their Google search popularity, would be unfair and would stifle competition in the sector.
The panel discussed how to define gatekeeping. One point put forward is that the definition can be: “Platforms that facilitate transactions between businesses and consumers”. It was posited that gatekeepers can be a gateway for businesses to interact with consumers. At its core, a gatekeeper is characterised by its enduring ability to control access to a critical number of consumers. It is crucial, therefore, that we define the rules and standards for gatekeeper platforms to ensure safety for all its users.
Many gatekeepers are data-driven and much of this can be personal data, this can pose many questions in terms of the regulations of gatekeepers. Market power, innovation and regulation are at the core of this issue and must be addressed by the EU and its member states.
The panel discussed the role that the European Union should play with the regulation of gatekeeping platforms, especially in relation to the Digital Services Act. It was expressed that all parties need to understand the impact of regulation on the entire eco-system, most notably for small companies that rely on these platforms.
Overall, this was an engaging and popular discussion with a large amount of people joining us to discuss this event. We hope that you enjoyed this event, and we look forward to welcoming you to another Digital Working Group event.
MEP | European Parliament
Maria da Graça Carvalho is currently a member of the European Parliament. She was a senior advisor of Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, from November 2014 to December 2015.
Previously, she was a member of the European Parliament between July 2009 and May 2014. In that capacity, she was one of the rapporteurs of Horizon 2020. She was also Principal Adviser to President Barroso in the fields of Science, Higher Education, Innovation, Research Policy, Energy, Environment and Climate Change from 2006 to 2009.
She served as a Minister of Science and Higher Education of the XV Constitutional Government of Portugal and Minister of Science, Innovation and Higher Education of the XVI Constitutional Government.
She is a Full Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico (University of Lisbon) in the area of energy, climate change and sustainable development.
Associate Professor | Warwick University
Graduated in biomedical engineering in 2005, Leandro was awarded a PhD in Health Economy in 2009. He is currently Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, where he directs the Applied Biomedical Signal Processing and Intelligent eHealth Lab (ABSPIE).
He has authored or co-authored about 90 peer-reviewed papers on journals, books and conferences in the fields of machine learning and biomedical signal processing applied to healthy ageing, chronic diseases, falls prediction in the elderly and Health Technology Assessment (HTA).
Dr Pecchia is the General Secretary of the IUPESM, Treasurer of the IFMBE Clinical Engineering Division, Chair of the Public Affair Working Group of the European Alliance of Medical and Biological Engineering and Science.
As part of these roles, Dr Pecchia supports the WHO and the European Parliament in defining new policies regarding innovative medical devices.
Dr Pecchia is the Large-Scale Pilot Manager at the GATEKEEPER Project, which aims to enable the creation of a platform that connects healthcare providers, businesses, entrepreneurs, and elderly citizens and the communities they live in.
EU Public Policy Manager | Google
Bartlomiej Teleko has been a member of the Google public policy team in Brussels for the last 3.5 years, where he leads on the work related to regulating online platforms (P2B, DMA, etc.). Before Google he worked for 6+ years as a policy adviser at the European Parliament where he specialized in digital, energy and trade subjects. Prior to joining the EP he gained professional experience from the European Commission (DG GROW), think-tanks (German Marshall Fund of the US) and Brussels-based trade associations.