Regulating digital platforms as the new network industries

Juan Montero, Matthias Finger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The most solid framework to both analyze and regulate digital platforms is the one which has developed over the past century for the conceptualization and the regulation of the traditional network industries such as telecoms, transport and energy. Digital platforms in multi-sided markets can be considered the new network industries, notably due to the relevance of direct, indirect and algorithmic network effects. As a result, platforms display features which are similar to all industries where network effects are key, namely concentration, market power and subsequently political intervention. Regulatory measures that have already been tested in the traditional network industries can be exported to the new network industries, including regulation to promote competition by reducing barriers to entry, regulation to promote interoperability and structural remedies along with public service obligations imposed on platforms. Examples of this approach can be identified in different initiatives around the world, with the European Union in the lead.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-126
Number of pages16
JournalCompetition and Regulation in Network Industries
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • algorithmic network effects
  • network effects
  • network industries
  • Platforms


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