The paper “Consumer protection – the case for converging regulation” (Balogh, V.) will be presented at the 9th Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures (25-26 June, 2020).
The regulation of network industries builds on the notion of market failures – historically, these market failures (i.e. market power, the presence of switching costs) hence the regulation affected the supply side of markets. The monopolization of industries proved to be the first hurdle that regulation had to overcome in several sectors.
However, after appropriate measures taken in a network industry (i.e. open access), the tools of ex ante regulation should provide sufficient solutions for supply-side market failures. However, without optimal consumer decision making, market outcomes could still be sub-optimal due to the presence of demand-side market failures (i.e. information asymmetry, consumer decision-making mistakes and lock-in situations).
The paper aims to give an example of such convergent consumer protection regulation using the examples of the electronic communications sector and the digital services sector within the EU.
The basis for the analysis will be the structure built up by the European Union with the Code on Electronic Communication (1972/2018/EU, “EECC”) with special consumer protection provisions with respect to digital services (2019/770/EU).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Virág Balogh is a regulatory strategist at Magyar Telekom Nyrt., focusing at long-term strategic issues of telco markets, with a special emphasis on the transposition of the EECC. She is completing her PhD studies at ELTE Faculty of Law in the field of consumer protection.