The INCA “Increase corporate political responsibility and accountability” project investigates the impact that digital platforms have on European democracies and institutions.

The so-called GAFAM* (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft) are becoming more and more infrastructures for opinion making, labour organization and political debate. In the last decades, digital platforms and particularly GAFAM invested billions in corporate lobbying to influence law-making processes. Indeed, platforms grew up in many cases moving through the empty spaces of existing legislative codes. Their lobbying activity rose with the risk to move from a platform-based economy (their corporate power allows them to play a dominant role) to a platform-regulated society, where laws are deeply influenced by their lobbying impact.

We wish to clarify the way platforms and especially GAFAM exercise lobbying. Which is the impact of such activities on democratic institutions?

Besides, may we define forms to sustain new models of governance capable to combine the growth of platforms with social inclusion and citizen participation in decision-making processes?

*Note: We interpret the label GAFAM as the instantiation of the broader concept of digital platforms