Internet Platforms & Non-Discrimination
Amidst much debate, net neutrality regulation entered into effect in the EU in April 2016, applying to Internet Access Service (IAS) providers.
The concern prompting this regulation is that IAS providers are, due to their termination monopoly, dominant Internet gatekeepers at the infrastructure level. As such, there is the potential for IAS providers to use their market power to distort competition between content providers on one side and access to content and information by consumers on the other side.
However, questions arise as to whether some online platforms are comparable gatekeepers, just at higher levels of the internet value chain. Such gatekeepers could similarly distort competition across areas such as content, search and e-commerce, especially where these services converge or are vertically integrated. In this context, the European Parliament has recently stressed “the need for net neutrality and fair and non-discriminatory access to online platforms as a prerequisite for innovation and a truly competitive market” in its report on platforms and the digital single market.
Consequently, if online platforms control critical digital access points, should they too be subject to some form of non-discrimination regulation? If so, under what conditions and circumstances would non-discrimination obligations apply, and what services would be affected? What would be the potential impact on competition, consumer choice, and on other players in the value chain?
To address these timely questions, CERRE has launched a new research project, combining the latest economic, technical and legal literature on non-discrimination obligations for digital service markets, with discussions between telecommunications operators, digital firms, regulators, European policymakers and other experts.
The eagerly awaited report of this project, and its policy recommendations will be debated at this high-level CERRE Executive Seminar on 5 December.
This event is reserved for CERRE members' representatives and a limited number of non-members.
Chairman's welcome and introduction
Professor Bruno Liebhaberg
Presentation of the findings of CERRE report
Professor Dr. Jan Krämer
Research Fellow, CERRE
Professor Alexandre de Streel
Joint Academic Director, CERRE
Panel discussion 1: Do we need non-discrimination rules for internet platforms?
Panel discussion 2: Are transparency obligations a useful remedy for online platforms?
Vice President & Head, Public Policy & Government Affairs, EMENA,
Chief Policy Officer,
Professor Madeleine de Cock Buning*
Director, Regulatory Affairs,
Dr. Wilhelm Eschweiler
Head, Services Regulation, External Affairs,
Vice President & Head, 'Regulatory Strategy & Economics' Division,
Roger Loppacher i Crehuet*
Economic Analyst, Chief Economist Team,
Chief Policy Officer,
Managing Director EU Affairs,
Member of the Board,
Senior Legal Officer; Team Leader, Consumer Rights,
EU Government Affairs,
Head of Unit 'E-Commerce and Platforms',
Director, Regulatory Affairs, Proximus
Head, 6th Decision Division,
Dr Stephen Unger*
Group Director & Board Member,
* to be confirmed
Tuesday 5 December 2017, 14.00-17.30,
Thon Hotel EU, Rue de la Loi 75, 1040 Brussels
CERRE members and nominated guests receive priority when registering. All other registrations are provisional until confirmed by email by CERRE. If you have any questions about your registration, or do not receive a confirmation email, please contact email@example.com