2019 Antitrust and Competition Conference – Digital Platforms, Markets, and Democracy: A Path Forward

Date(s) - 05/15/19 - 05/16/19
All Day

Gleacher Center

Hosted by
Stigler Center

2019 Antitrust and Competition Conference – Digital Platforms, Markets, and Democracy: A Path Forward

May 15-16, 2019
Gleacher Center, 450 N Cityfront Plaza Drive, Chicago IL


About the Conference Digital platforms—most prominent among them Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter and Google—are raising pressing policy questions concerning their market power, handling of personal data and influence on global media and political systems. Under the leadership of faculty director Luigi Zingales, the Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State has oriented these questions at the forefront of its research agenda and programming.

In 2017, the Center embarked on an ambitious project to reinvigorate the discussion of concentration and monopoly in the United States, culminating in the conference Is There a Concentration Problem in America? In 2018, the Center again brought together scholars and influencers to consider the market power of digital platforms specifically. From the 2018 conference on Digital Platforms and Concentration a consensus emerged that the issues raised by these platforms must be addressed, and—to provide independent expertise on the appropriate policy responses—the Stigler Center formed a Committee for the Study of Digital Platforms. The Stigler Center’s 2019 conference Digital Platforms, Markets and Democracy: A Path Forward, will discuss the initial conclusions of this Committee.

The Committee’s ultimate goal is to produce independent white papers on the platforms’ economic and societal impact that will inform decision and policy-making. The committee is composed of four specialized subcommittees, comprising a chair and specialists in different fields (economics, law, data sciences, media, public policy, political science, venture capitalists, etc.). Subcommittee members include scholars from many of the world’s most renowned universities and think tanks. This diversification is required for each group to be capable of comprehending and addressing in a holistic manner the challenges and opportunities associated with digital platforms.

Each subcommittee has been tasked with drafting a white paper that will address digital platforms impact on one of four main topics:

  • the economy and market structure (including possible changes to antitrust policy)
  • privacy and data protection
  • the media (as a key pillar of a democratic society)
  • the political system (and matters associated with the political arena)

On May 15 and 16, the participants of the Stigler Center’s 2019 conference on Digital Platforms, Markets and Democracy: A Path Forward will have the opportunity to discuss the initial conclusions reached by each subcommittee, as well as other similar initiatives around the world.

The conference is by invitation only. If you would like to request an invitation, please click here.