Christoph Steck, Telefonica, on competition, openness & neutrality along the digital value chain


Today the Digital Revolution is transforming our lives and opening up new growth opportunities for all, in particular, creating new opportunities for business and employment. The new digital world is already part of our lives; you just have to consider how many of our daily tasks are performed digitally. Digital technology does not recognize physical boundaries nor respect companies that have been successful in the past. Indeed, dynamic digitally-driven supply-side competition driven by low barriers to entry, minimal cost of innovation and the speed with which customers adopt new products is generating enormous consumer benefit – the ultimate goal of competition policy. However, a tectonic shift of this magnitude brings with it challenges for policy makers and regulators responsible for ensuring fair and open market-based competition in the face of these dynamic digital realities. Experience shows that there are no easy answers, as competition in the Digital Economy and across the Internet value chain is complex and rapidly evolving. At a crucial time when the European Commission is about to release its strategy for the Digital Single Market, this EIF debate was a great opportunity to open up a debate on some of the key questions that need to be addressed.


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