In its latest proposals, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA), the European Commission puts forward several new obligations for online intermediaries, especially large online platforms and “gatekeepers.” Both are expected to serve as a blueprint for regulation in the United States, where lawmakers have also been investigating competition on digital platforms and new antitrust laws passed the House Judiciary Committee as of June 11, 2021. This Article investigates whether all stakeholder groups share the same understanding and use of the relevant terms and concepts of the DSA and DMA. Leveraging the power of computational text analysis, we find significant differences in the employment of terms like “gatekeepers,” “self-preferencing,” “collusion,” and others in the position papers of the consultation process that informed the drafting of the two latest Commission proposals. Added to that, sentiment analysis shows that in some cases these differences also come with dissimilar attitudes. While this may not be surprising for new concepts such as gatekeepers or self-preferencing, the same is not true for other terms, like “self-regulatory,” which not only is used differently by stakeholders but is also viewed more favorably by medium and big companies and organizations than by small ones. We conclude by sketching out how different computational text analysis tools, could be combined to provide many helpful insights for both rulemakers and legal scholars.
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