Digitalisation brings a multitude of new legal challenges, especially relating to services on the internet, where various market participants with different interests meet, as is the case above all with so-called platform services. Through providers such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft and the networking of companies that results from their services, questions of platform business models and the accompanying legal challenges surrounding them are already playing a prominent role. In particular antitrust issues are increasingly arising: antitrust authorities in Germany, Europe and other countries around the world have initiated a number of proceedings against players in the platform economy, and new legal powers to intervene in the digital economy are being planned or have already been introduced. In these multilateral markets with their network effects, platforms affect the economic and legal interests of platform service providers, (end) customers and third parties alike. In the wake of this progressive digitalisation and the simultaneous leaps in technical development, digital platforms, search engines and portals for various applications are increasingly displacing companies with traditional business models and classic distribution channels with their "disruptive" offers. New market participants often offer their services globally and across industries and frequently gain importance to customers through the so-called network effect. The risk of disruption to business models means established providers need to constantly question their own business model and adapt them accordingly to ensure they are not forced out of the market.
Luther can advise companies on all legal issues relating to platform business models. Our advice in this regard includes assisting with the development of new business models, reviewing antitrust and other regulatory aspects as well as assisting and advising on the internal and external development of business activities. In addition, we can provide comprehensive advice on IP, licensing and data protection issues and can help with special issues relating to e-commerce, provider liability or allegations of abuse of a dominant market position.
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