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Level-Playing-Field

A level playing field is needed to enable fair competition and equal opportunity across the Internet value chain and to ensure the same level of security and protection for all users.

It is necessary to achieve a balanced digital economy

Eight of worlds ten most valuable Internet companies are headquartered in the United States and the other two have their headquarters in China. Currently, only one of the 25 largest Internet companies is from Europe, and 83% of the global market capitalization of Internet companies belongs to companies headquartered in the United States.

These massive imbalances and economic asymmetries are threatening sustainable development and the stability of the global digital economy.

A key reason for the growth of such imbalance is the uneven regulatory obligations that exist between different companies based on where they come from. The rules are different for companies that are offering equivalent services. Telefónica supports the modernization of legal frameworks in order to achieve the same rules for the same services.

Improving user experience

Everyone should expect a better and safer Internet experience. Users want to enjoy the same rights when accessing similar services based on different technologies, provided by different providers, even from different geographies. They do not often understand that their privacy, security, and protection of their information are dependent on these factors.

A ‘same service, sames rules’ approach would benefit citizens and consumers as well as the digital economy. It would increase trust in digital environments, which translates into greater adoption and more intensive use of digital services.

 

Equal opportunities for all market agents

Regulation should recognize the competition between organisations and services that have traditionally operated in distinct markets. This would help to ensure equal treatment and balanced competition. The same services should be governed by the same rules, regardless of the underlying technologies.

Establishing a level playing field for everybody can make additional regulation unnecessary. Policy makers must recognize increased competition in  digital markets and so reduce the amount and use of ex ante regulation. Instead, they should focus on evidence-based policy, proceeding a posteriori where there is anticompetitive behaviour in the market.

Promote interoperability

Interoperability of services and applications allows users to interact with each other regardless of service provider, application or terminal. The lack of interoperability is fragmenting Internet, creating isolated where users can only relate to those using the same service or application ecosystems. Interoperability must be encouraged to allow interconnected ecosystems that enhance user experience and foster competition.

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