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The Internet Economy - Regulatory Challenges and Practices


  • Isabell Koske


  • Rosamaria Bitetti

    (LUISS Guido Carli)

  • Isabelle Wanner


  • Ewan Sutherland

    (University of the Witwatersrand)


The Internet has become an integral part of the everyday life of households, firms and governments. Its proper functioning over the long run is therefore crucial for economic growth and people’s wellbeing more generally. The success of the Internet depends on its openness and the confidence of users. Designing policies that protect society while allowing for Internet’s great economic potential to be fulfilled, is a difficult task. This paper investigates this challenge and takes stock of existing regulations in OECD and selected non-OECD countries in specific areas related to the digital economy. It finds that despite the regulatory difficulties, the Internet is far from being a “regulation-free” space as there are various industry standards, co-regulatory agreements between industry and the government, and in some cases also state regulation. Most of them aim at protecting personal data and consumers more generally. In many cases generally applicable laws and regulations exist that address privacy, security and consumer protection issues both in the traditional and the digital economy. L'économie internet - Enjeux et pratiques de la réglementation L'Internet fait partie intégrante de la vie quotidienne des ménages, des entreprises et des gouvernements. Son bon fonctionnement sur le long terme est donc crucial pour la croissance économique et le bien-être de la population en général. Le succès de l'Internet dépend de son ouverture et de la confiance des utilisateurs. Concevoir des politiques qui protègent les utilisateurs et la société, mais aussi qui permettent que les grands avantages de l'Internet soit pleinement récoltés est une tâche difficile. Cette étude discute quelques-uns des défis liés au développement d’Internet et fait le bilan de la réglementation en vigueur dans l'OCDE et certains pays non membres de l'OCDE dans des domaines spécifiques liés de l'économie numérique. Il constate que, malgré les difficultés réglementaires, l'Internet est loin d'être un espace "libre de réglementation". Il existe diverses normes de l'industrie, des accords de co-régulation entre l'industrie et le gouvernement, et dans certains cas, la réglementation de l'État. La plupart de ces règles visent à protéger les données personnelles et plus généralement les consommateurs. Dans de nombreux cas des lois et règlements d'application générale existent qui adressent les questions de confidentialité, de sécurité et de protection des consommateurs à la fois dans l’économie traditionnelle et numérique.

Suggested Citation

  • Isabell Koske & Rosamaria Bitetti & Isabelle Wanner & Ewan Sutherland, 2014. "The Internet Economy - Regulatory Challenges and Practices," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1171, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1171-en
    DOI: 10.1787/5jxszm7x2qmr-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Rauf Gönenç & Béatrice Guérard, 2017. "Austria’s digital transition: The diffusion challenge," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1430, OECD Publishing.
    2. Bertschek, Irene & Briglauer, Wolfgang & Hüschelrath, Kai & Krämer, Jan & Frübing, Stefan & Kesler, Reinhold & Saam, Marianne, 2016. "Metastudie zum Fachdialog Ordnungsrahmen für die Digitale Wirtschaft: Im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, number 147040, March.
    3. Litina, Anastasia & Makridis, Christos A. & Tsiachtsiras, Georgios, 2021. "Do product market reforms raise innovation? Evidence from Micro-data across 12 countries," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 169(C).
    4. Krämer, Jan & Wohlfarth, Michael, 2018. "Market power, regulatory convergence, and the role of data in digital markets," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 154-171.

    More about this item


    competition; concurrence; consumer protection; digital economy; internet; Internet; protection des consommateurs; regulation; réglementation; économie numérique;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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