1st Edition

The Rise of the New Network Industries Regulating Digital Platforms

By Juan Montero, Matthias Finger Copyright 2021
    292 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    292 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Cutting through the confusion around the nature and implications of digitalization, this book explores the rise of the new digital networks, how they affect traditional infrastructure, and how they will eventually need to be regulated. The authors examine how digitalization affects infrastructures in telecommunications, transport, and energy, and how digital platforms establish themselves as a new network on top of and in addition to traditional ones.

    Complex concepts are introduced through short and colorful stories about the founders of the most popular platforms (Google, Facebook, Skype, Uber, etc.) and how they grew to positions of power, drawing parallels with century-old traditional network industries’ monopoly power (AT&T, General Electric, etc.). The authors argue that these digital platforms strongly interfere with traditional infrastructures that are heavily regulated and provide essential services for society – meaning that digital platforms should be considered as a new and much more powerful type of infrastructure and will require regulation accordingly.

    A global audience of policy makers, public authorities, consultants, lawyers, students, and academics, as well as anyone with an interest in these digital platforms, will find this book enlightening and essential reading.

    Introduction; Part I: The Digitalization Dilemma in the Network Industries; 1. Digitalizing the Network Industries; 2. Platforms in Multi-Sided Markets; 3. Digital Platforms; 4. Disruption by Digital Platforms: Substitution and Platformization; 5. Network Industries Disrupted by Platforms; Part II: Platforms in the Communications Industries; 6. Network Effects in Communications; 7. Email: Postal Networks are Substituted; 8. Skype and WhatsApp: Telecom Carriers are Platformed; 9. YouTube: Traditional Media Substituted and Platformed; 10 The Regulatory Challenges Posed by Communications Platforms; Part III: Platforms in the Transport Industries; 11. Scale and Networks in Transportation; 12. Amadeus, Sabre and Air Transport; 13. Uber and Urban Mobility; 14. BlaBlaCar and Long-Distance Mobility; 15. Mobility-as-a-Service: The Network of Networks; 16. Transport Providers are Platformed; Part IV: Platforms in the Energy Industries; 17. Network Effects in the Energy Industries; 18. Distributed Systems and the Need for Coordination; 19. The Future of Energy; Part V: Regulating Platforms as the New Network Industries; 20. Platforms as the New Network Industries; 21. Regulating Platforms as Intermediaries; 22. Regulating Platforms as Superintermediaries; 23. Regulating Platforms with Market Power; 24. Regulating Platform Ecosystems; Afterword; Notes; References; Index


    Juan Montero is Professor of Regulation at the Law School of UNED University, Madrid, Spain; part-time Professor at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, in the Florence School of Regulation; and of counsel in MLAB.

    Matthias Finger is Professor Emeritus from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne, Switzerland (EPFL); part-time Professor at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, where he directs the Florence School of Regulation’s Transport Area; and Professor at the Faculty of Management at Istanbul Technical University (ITÜ).