The new issue of the “Competition and Regulation in Network Industries” (CRNI) by Sage is now available!
Platformed! Network industries and the new digital paradigm by Matthias Finger and Juan José Montero
The full paper is included in the issue. Read here the abstract:
Digitalization is creating a new model of industrial organization as online platform intermediate in multisided markets. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how the platform paradigm provides a simple and useful framework to analyze the impact of digitalization on network industries. The first online platforms (searches and social platforms) disrupted content industries (music, newspapers, media, etc.) but as platforms proliferate, they are also disrupting industries with physical assets, such as accommodation. Disruption has reached network industries, and similar features emerge as they are all being “platformed.” On the one hand, platform-based services are replacing traditional network industry services. This is the case of electronic mail and postal service and carpooling platforms and railways. On the other hand, platforms are commoditizing network industry services, as they become mere sides in multisided markets coordinated by a platform. This is the case of telecom services and over the top providers (WhatsApp, Skype, and YouTube) and, potentially, of isolated transport services and “Mobility-as-a-Service” platforms. Regulation is becoming a key consideration. First, there is a debate on whether platforms should be subject to the same regulatory obligations as traditional network players. Second, there is a debate on whether platforms should have access to network services under regulated terms. Overall, platforms are replacing former monopolists in the central role as coordinators of the sector.