How to deal with the changes caused by big tech?

In their working paper, Weizenbaum researcher and group leader Volker Stocker, together with economist Günter Knieps (University of Freiburg) and computer scientist Christoph Dietzel (Max-Planck-Institute for Informatics and DE-CIX), provides an answer to the question of how to respond to changes to the Internet brought about by large multinational technology corporations.

Global tech companies such as Google, Facebook or Amazon have fundamentally changed the Internet ecosystem and shifted the boundaries between public and private networks. In their paper "The Rise and Evolution of Clouds and Private Networks - Internet Interconnection, Ecosystem Fragmentation," the authors adopt a multidisciplinary perspective in examining the evolution of the Internet ecosystem. They place a particular focus on the role of global private infrastructures and networks, as well as the causes, drivers, and effects of divisions and fragmentation within the ecosystem.

As part of their analysis, the researchers derive evidence-based recommendations for policymakers. It is important, i.e., that regulators do not look backwards and take the old world of telecommunications as a regulatory model, since this perspective does not reflect the current state of the ecosystem. Instead, the authors argue, regulators must consider the complexity of today’s business relationships as well as changing competitive and innovation dynamics within an increasingly divided ecosystem.

The findings were presented by economist Volker Stocker at this year's TPRC Conference in September—a interdisciplinary conference on communication, information, and Internet regulation.

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