Digital platforms: The new network industries?

This special issue of NIQ explores and further clarifies the conceptu­alisation (and subsequent regulation) of digital platforms (or elements of them) as the “new network industries.” This idea was put forward in the book by Montero, J. & Finger, M. The rise of the new network industries, Regulating digital platforms (London: Routledge, 2021). Others have developed similar lines of thought (e.g. Busch, C., Regu­lation of digital platforms as infrastructures for services of general interest. WISO Diskurs, 9/2021). We have invited these and other authors to contribute to this debate.

The first contribution, by Finger and Montero, summarises their most recent thinking on how digitalisation affects infrastructure and the public services it provides.

The second contribution, by Busch, further develops his idea of dig­ital platforms as “infrastructure of general interest” and derives corre­sponding policy implications.

In the third contribution, Rodriguez de las Heras Ballel puts for­ward her idea of “platforms as regulators of critical intermediation in­frastructure,” something the author calls “platform power.”

The fourth contribution takes the form of an interview with Koen Baekelandt, Senior Legal Counsel Regulatory Affairs at Amadeus IT. Amadeus constitutes one of the very first network industry platforms, from which interesting and relevant learnings can be drawn on our topic.

As of this issue, we merge Network Industries Quarterly and Network Industries Quarterly Turkey into a single quarterly publication. While Network Industries Quarterly, which was started 24 years ago, focused mainly on industrialised countries, Network Industries Quarterly Tur­key was started two years ago and focused on Turkey and comparable emerging countries. From now on, we will cover evolving network industries in both industrialised and emerging countries alike.

Separate articles can be downloaded from the links below: