Digital platform companies have transformed many major European industries, such as mobility services, retail, tourism, finance, food, music, and digital games. These firms have established themselves as new market intermediaries that match supply with demand. In many cases, this has increased the total size of the market, opened up market access to new suppliers, including small firms and self-employed individuals, and weakened the power of incumbent firms. Yet, the flipside has been that platform companies have become powerful actors who set the rules of the game in their markets. In particular, some markets are dominated by giant global platform companies, which sometimes introduce rules and business practices that may diverge sharply from established European practices, such as collaboration between social partners.
This report asks why platformization varies so much across different industries and countries by examining three industries, retail, taxi, and food delivery, across different European countries.