Platform Observatory

Digital platforms play an increasingly important role both for consumers and for the economy.

Online platforms are transforming sectors of economy such as e-commerce and retail; travel, leisure and hospitality. With more than one million EU businesses using online platforms to sell their goods and services, monitoring and analysing current trends and emerging issues in the online platform environment is a crucial task.

The EU has installed an expert group on the online platform economy that is being supported by a consortium of research institutions of which IW is part. The primary focus of the study in support of the Observatory on the Online Platform Economy is to research various aspects of the relationships between platforms and their business users. These include terms and conditions, ranking, pricing and access to data. At the core of these research activities is gathering evidence from key stakeholders.

The output of these activitities is several analytical papers as well as a data base on the online platform economy in Europe. To get in touch with stakeholders, the website offers several avenues:

Do you have experience of the online platform economy, either as a representative of an online platform or as a business user? This is your chance to share your views! We invite you to get involved by signing up to one of our two panels – one for platforms, and one for business users.

In parallel, we encourage online platforms and their business users to flag any issues they have encountered in their dealings with each other.


    Vera Demary

    Dr. Vera Demary

    Head of the Research Unit Digitalization, Structural Change and Competition

    Tel+49 221 4981-749


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    Barbara Engels

    Barbara Engels

    Economist for Industrial Organization and Competition

    Tel+49 221 4981-703


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    Henry Goecke

    Dr. Henry Goecke

    Head of the Research Group Big Data Analytics

    Tel+49 221 4981-770

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    Christian Rusche

    Dr. Christian Rusche

    Senior Economist for Industrial Organization and Competition

    Tel+49 221 4981-412

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