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Internet Platforms & Non-Discrimination

ICT and Digital Agenda
Date: Tuesday, 05 December 2017 14:00 - 17:30

Venue: Thon Hotel EU  |  City: Bruxelles, Belgium

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.

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  • Tuesday, 05 December 2017 14:00 - 17:30

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