Five considerations to modernise policy for new technologies and business models

  • 13 June 2016
ICC digital growth

Globalization of the digital economy has brought unparalleled growth for all segments of the public and private sectors, resulting in an increasingly accessible global marketplace. The digital economy is also playing an increasingly significant role in promoting innovative and sustainable development, and empowering inclusive economic participation.

But with a pressing need for regulatory modernisation to keep pace with the developments, ICC is taking action to help policymakers and regulators refresh their understanding of policy goals and marketplace facts to encourage a mindset that will ultimately ensure as much competition, investment and innovation across the information and communication technology sector as possible.

Urging close consultation with business and all stakeholders to avoid unintended consequences of new policies or regulations, ICC has set out five recommendations to modernize the regulatory and competition framework that would provide protection for consumers while fostering competition, investment and innovation. They are:

1. Adopt a regulatory mindset that promotes the value of the entire communications and digital services ecosystem, and considers the public interest.

This will foster a positive environment for the investment in the development and proliferation of capable and compelling digital networks, content, applications, and services. Future regulatory landscapes must reflect and embody that mindset.

2. Provide consumers with predictable levels of protection by reforming regulatory frameworks for communications and digital services.

This is about finding the appropriate level of rules for consistently protecting consumer rights in the digital economy and fostering the development of new services and innovation for all.

3. Apply competition and consumer protection laws across the entire economy, and favour the use of such broad tools to the creation of new sector specific regulations.

Wherever possible, reliance on existing general competition and consumer protection laws is preferable to new prescriptive regulations that could stifle investment and innovation.

4. Encourage the open and unfragmented Internet to continue to flourish.

The open and global nature of the Internet has enabled an unprecedented boost in terms of competition, consumer choice, innovation and entrepreneurship.

5. Use competition law to evaluate product and geographic market definitions on a continuous basis.
In an era of convergence and rapidly evolving technologies and business models, there are strong merits to relying on ex post competition law over prescriptive ex ante regulations.

Download the Policy Statement Regulatory modernization in the digital economy