From platform dominance to weakened ownership: how external regulation changed Finnish e-identification

Anar Bazarhanova*, Jesse Yli-Huumo, Kari Smolander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


Background: There is substantial interest among scholars in digital platforms and the ecosystems around them. Digital platforms are open, continuously evolving, sociotechnical structures that can be sensitive to various changes. Aim: We take one-step further and investigate the post-dominance phase of platforms. The electronic identification (eID) ecosystem in Finland provides a good example of ecosystem transformation due to external changes from EU and national regulation. Method: We engage in an extensive case study of a nation-wide monopolistic eID platform. We first take a retrospective view to understand the historical context and then examine in detail how an external driver leads to changes in the ecosystem. Results: We explicate the platform evolution process, from a phase of dominance with centralized control structures to a more federated governance approach. We find that the introduction of intermediaries between the platform and its users contributes to a weakening of the dominant platform owners. Conclusion: This finding that platforms can transform into industry infrastructures has an important implication for our understanding of the dynamics underlying digital platforms.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalElectronic Markets
Early online date1 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Digital infrastructrues
  • Industry platforms
  • Platform dominance
  • Platform ecosystems
  • Platform evolution

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