Com-DPE is phase three of the ECOANTITRUST initiative, which seeks conceptual and methodological inspirations from natural ecosystems to inform policy tools for the digital economy.
Com-DPE analyzes digital platform ecosystems as complex adaptive systems (CAS) and establishes whether the CAS theory can guide the transfer of insights, approaches, and tools from ecology to the context of digital platform ecosystems to inform policy.
The term ‘ecosystem’ was introduced from ecology to describe networked businesses by Moore (1993). Following his contributions, various ecological phenomena have been repurposed as metaphors to provide insight for digitalization and business ecosystems. Although there have been various justifications for the application of ecological metaphors, the selection and incorporation of concepts from natural ecosystems (NE) to business ecosystems have not adhered to a systematic framework or reasoning which realizes such transfers. This has also limited their applicability in informing adequate antitrust legislation in an era of platformization.
Phase one and two of the ECOANTITRUST initiative assessed the credibility of assessing networked businesses as ecosystems and explored the usefulness of ecological concepts, taxonomy, and methods to develop a systems approach to regulating complex digital platforms ecosystems. Com-DPE is the third phase which builds on these ambitions. At its crux, Com-DPE proposes that business ecosystems, and thereby DPEs, are comparable to NEs since they share common fundamental attributes of complex adaptive systems (CAS). Based on the formation of this structural justification, the project develops a conceptual framework that allows for a more grounded approach toward transferring ecological concepts in managing the digital network economy.
The research work makes a significant contribution to the body of literature on digital platforms and ecosystems by identifying digital platform ecosystems as CAS and thereby moving beyond an ad-hoc approach to the application of ecological ideas and toward a systematic framework through which CAS theory could transform the way we study digital platform ecosystems and its agents. Consequently, the project also develops modeling tools utilizing evolutionary game theory and agent-based modeling to simulate the development of multi-sided platforms. This research project integrates several qualitative and quantitative methods including:
1. To analyze digital platform ecosystems under the lens of complex adaptive systems theory and establish logical structures which allow for the transfer of scientific analogical reasoning from ecology to explain observed phenomena in digital markets.
2. To develop a framework for the organization of agents, processes, and interactions in the digital economy based on the hierarchical levels of organization established in ecological literature to facilitate a comprehensive and considered approach to informing antitrust regulation with ecological insights.
3. To apply evolutionary game theory and agent-based modelling to stimulate the development and expansion of multi-sided businesses and digital platform ecosystems.
To read more about the stage one of the ECOANTITRUST initiative, click here.
To read more about the stage two of the ECOANTITRUST initiative, click here.
- BRICS Competition and Law and Policy Centre
- Fundação Getúlio Vargas Rio de Janeiro Law School, Brazil
- Ursula Scharler, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
- Nicolo Zingales, Fundação Getúlio Vargas Rio de Janeiro Law School, Brazil
- Jia Kai, School of Public Affairs and Administration, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, China
- Cui Zhiyuan, School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University, China
Rovenskaya, E. , Ivanov, A., Boza, G. , Scharler, U., & Hathiari, S. (2022). Ecology to the Rescue! Unravelling the complexities of the digital economy. In: Systems Analysis for Reducing Footprints and Enhancing Resilience, 16-17 November, 2022, Vienna, Austria.
Rovenskaya, E. (2023). Social media and platforms as a new source of data for understanding societies and humans. In: Third Digital Day: At the Roots of Digitalisation, 10-11 March 2023, University of Florence, Italy.
28 July 2023
04 May 2023
19 December 2022