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EU digital economy competition policy: From ex-post to ex-ante. The case of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Meta

Nicoli, N. & Iosifidis, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-2096-219X (2023). EU digital economy competition policy: From ex-post to ex-ante. The case of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Meta. Global Media and China, 8(1), pp. 24-38. doi: 10.1177/20594364231152673


Since 2007, the European Commission (EC) has opened numerous competition cases regarding Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Meta (AAAM). Enforcement, however, has remained elusive, prompting a new regulatory paradigm in the EU known as the Digital Markets Act. In this study, we analyze the EC’s competition policy approach regarding big tech with an emphasis on AAAM. Rather than implementing a consumer welfare friendly neoclassic economics analysis, we adopt a critical political economy of communications (CPE) approach to analyze these cases. The article explores whether EU competition policy does enough to yield the required measures to preserve a healthy digital economy sector for political and social welfare as much as for consumer welfare.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub. com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Publisher Keywords: Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, communications policy, EU competition policy, public interest, digital markets act, digital economy sector, political economy of communication, platformization
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
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