A group of European technology platforms, including ground transport specialist Bolt, are part of a joint effort working towards “better regulation of platform companies.”
The aim of the European Purpose Project, led by the founders of Bolt, Delivery Hero, Glovo and Wolt, is to establish a “European model for platform work” with commitments and recommendations to governments.
The initiative plans to put together a code of conduct and is also inviting any interested party to share ideas on the future of platforms as part of a consultation process over the next three months.
The plan is for the code and “a playbook” of best practises for the platform economy to be published in September.
The European Purpose Project follows a Statement of Principles published last December by the same companies which include working for the good of the cities and environments they operate and being responsible users of technology and data.
Within this companies agree to proactively promote transparency of how algorithms work and the ability of users to control their personal data.
Markus Villig, co-founder and CEO of Bolt, says: “Platform work and the platform economy are the source for innovation, employment and economic growth. In order for these benefits to emerge, it is necessary to develop an ecosystem around these platforms that mirrors the essential European values.
"Bolt is committed to playing a leading role in this development and being a part of creating a strong industry voice of delivery platforms that echoes these values.”
Subscribe to our newsletter below
The initiative is interesting in light of the Digital Markets Act legislation being prepared by the European Commission with one of the aims to address the power of the “big digital gatekeepers.”
In the past, large travel brands such as booking.com and Airbnb have hit back at suggestions that they fall within any gatekeeper parameters.
Digital gatekeepers are interpreted as those that:
- have a strong economic position and operate in multiple E.U. countries
- link a large user base to a large number of businesses
- have an entrenched or durable position in the market
Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of the European Commission for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said late last year that the act is about keeping digital markets fair.
While the European Purpose Project seems to be aimed at delivery companies, it will be interesting to see if other large travel platforms get behind the principles as a means to appease regulators.