Internet consolidation – opportunities and challenges – WS 01 2019

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19 June 2019 | 14:00-15:30 | AMAZON | Remote participation | Live streaming | Live transcription
Consolidated programme 2019 overview

Proposals assigned to this session: ID 148 – list of all proposals as pdf

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You are invited to join an open discussion on consolidation* of the Internet. This workshop allows for active participation and sharing your thoughts and recommendations for future study or actions on the topic 'Internet consolidation'. In the workshop consolidation will be discussed from four angles: technical, Competition, Access, future studies. Overall we will also try and identify positive or negative case examples resulting from consolidation.

Four questions relating to the four topics are in the process of being formulated. They will be shared in the Wiki as soon as possible

(*This workshop used to have two topics, Accountability and Consolidation. After internal debate it was decided to unmerge the two. Accountability is now flash session 5 (see there). The workshop is solely on consolidation.)

Session description

In the Internet economy there is an 'ever growing level of consolidation of markets, an increasing consolidation and horizontal and vertical integration of Internet activities and businesses, resulting in fewer opportunities for market entry and competition' (Internet Society). This can have negative implications for innovation and access but also on pricing and levels of access to information. The technical community of Internet engineers has flagged the topic as important for the coming years, as consolidation comes with key questions and necessary answers. Answers that have not been provided so far and need input from other stakeholders. This workshop discusses these questions and potential solutions, that involve a broad section of stakeholders.

The workshop will discuss and formulate ways forward concerning future study and/or discussions on consolidation of the Internet.


The workshop is an open discussion led by a moderator around a few questions. The questions are shown here, allowing you to prepare for the workshop. Your knowledge, opinion, expertise is highly welcome so we can determine together what next steps should be.

The agenda is roughly as follows.

1. Welcome by the moderator, Wout de Natris (2 min.)

2. Setting the scene, an introduction by Jari Arkko (IETF) and Carl Gahnberg (ISOC))15 min.).

3. Open discussion (Ca. 1 hour)

Depending on time the following questions will be asked to the room:


- Does consolidation depend only on business and market trends, or is it also affected by technology? - Can technological changes assist in driving Internet trends such as consolidation to a particular direction? - Do the effects of consolidation and centralization of services cause us to rethink some other issues in the Internet, e.g., what new security threats and vulnerabilities might have to be considered?


- In view of the growing role of (dominant) platforms in the digital economy, is there a need to adapt competition rules and/or regulation to respond to the new challenges that our societies are facing? - What are the means of the authorities to ensure that the platforms’ rules do not impede free, undistorted and vigorous competition or even to “break” the Internet? - Considering the various types of data and possible uses of data, what could be the best conditions to promote cooperation and data sharing between firms on a contractual basis?


- What can we learn from the net neutrality debates and access network competitive situations in terms of safeguarding broader societal objectives in the Internet ecosystem, such as, freedom of expression, access and innovation? - What is the influence of consolidation on European society? What are concrete examples of where consolidation is a benefit for Internet users and where it’s a disadvantage, in particular in Europe? - How can Europe manage a centralizing digital infrastructure that it increasingly depends upon? For example, should we develop and promote technical functions that “open up” networks and services so that users gain insight into and can control who processes their data?

Future research

- How we can observe this phenomenon. For instance, can we measure it, do we know when we have it or when we don’t, and are there criteria that would be helpful in assessing where we are? - What are the implications for multi-stakeholder governance models & future regulations as a result of the changing balance of power? e.g. 'Big tech' players write/decide the rules, regulations are only reactionary instead of anticipatory? - A close analysis of the platforms, the ecosystems they create and control, where they may even become gatekeepers, with large information and power asymmetries, needs to be done for better understanding of the impacts on the market. - What kinds of things could ISOC, standards organizations such as the IETF, or the academia do in this area?

4. All through the session we are on the lookout for current examples, good or bad. Feel free to share them all through the workshop.

5. Formulation of outcomes and recommendations that will make up part of the The Hague messages (10 min).

6. Closing

Further reading

Competition policy for the digital era, by Jacques Cremer, YA de Montjoye, Heike Schweitzer

Unlocking digital competition: Report of the Digital competition expert panel (March 2019):


Focal Point

  • Wout de Natris, De Natris Consult

Organising Team (Org Team) List them here as they sign up.

  • Giorgi Cherkezishvili
  • Chivintar Amenty, YouthDIG 2019
  • Jari Arkko, Internet Engineering Task Force
  • Evelyn Austin
  • Zoey Barthelemy
  • Amali De Silva-Mitchell
  • Cristian Hesselman, SIDN
  • David Korteweg, Bits of Freedom
  • Charalampos Kyritsis, YouthDIG Organiser
  • Marie-Noemie Marques, Orange
  • Kristina Olausson, ETNO - European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association
  • Marco Hogewoning, RIPE NCC
  • Carl Gahnberg, Internet Society
  • Adam Peake, ICANN
  • Clement Perarnaud, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona

Key Participants

  • Jari Arkko, Internet Engineering Task Force
  • Carl Gahnberg, Internet Society


  • Wout de Natris, (De Natris Consult)

Remote Moderator

Trained remote moderators will be assigned on the spot by the EuroDIG secretariat to each session.


  • Clement Perarnaud, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, Geneva Internet Platform

The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:

  • are summarised on a slide and presented to the audience at the end of each session
  • relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
  • are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
  • are in (rough) consensus with the audience

Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes

See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page. Please use this page to publish:

  • dates for virtual meetings or coordination calls
  • short summary of calls or email exchange

Please be as open and transparent as possible in order to allow others to get involved and contact you. Use the wiki not only as the place to publish results but also to summarize the discussion process.

The preparations are closed. The opening slides will be shared.


A short summary of the session will be provided by the Reporter.

Video record

Will be provided here after the event.


Will be provided here after the event.