The Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM) launched a public inquiry into the development of digital platformsand electronic communication services on September 17 2015. The inquiry will conclude on March 15, 2016, and methods for participation of stakeholders will soon be released via the AGCOM website.
AGCOM highlighted that the market is currently seeing new and alternative channels in the provision of content and services, as well as developments in content-sharing between users. In place of traditional models, such as network-service-user types, a more complex system of relationships (such as many-to-many) is being developed. These relationships include new ecosystems of participants: producers of communication devices, network operators (including virtual operators), platform managers, content producers and service providers. The business model, previously based on the B2C relationship, is now moving towards a B2B2C approach.
In this context, and also taking into account the ongoing European Digital Single Market strategy, the main purpose of the inquiry is to analyze and evaluate the ‘consumer communications services’ market, with reference to the general deployment of digital platforms in terms of:
- The existence of foreclosure effects on services providers or newcomers as laid down by vertically integrated operators;
- The duty to provide transparency in the terms and conditions of services provided to final customers;
- The new assets of the advertising collection and the relevant distribution of revenues;
- The existence of possible agreements between network operators and other operators, which may foreclose the entry of third party services providers into the market;
- The effects on consumers benefits and investments by the companies involved.