Competition, openness and neutrality along the digital value chain

Dinner Debate


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 is a great opportunity to open up a debate on some of the key questions that need to be addressed:

  • Do regulations need to be updated to reflect the realities of the Digital Economy? Does that mean creating more regulation?
  • Are the current policies and implementing mechanisms available for European competition authorities sufficient to preserve consumer-welfare-enhancing competition and market entry along digitally-driven value chains?
  • Will principles of openness and neutrality along the value chain need to be more widely applied to avoid anticompetitive discrimination harming competition – and thus consumers – and if so under what conditions?
  • Is there a need to create a level-playing-field for competing digital services applying the same rules to the same services?

programme - 14/04/2015

Welcome and introduction:

Adina-Ioana Valean, Vice President, European Parliament and EIF Steering Committee Member


Martin Bailey, acting Head of Unit F1 "Digital Single Market", DG CONNECT, European Commission 

Chris Sherwood, Head of Public Policy, Allegro Group

Christoph Steck, Director Public Policy & Internet, Telefonica

Peter Grüter, CFO of Fastweb

Exchange of views with participants
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