This recent story (paywalled) about the financial challenges YouTube TV and other “virtual cable” providers face is a good illustration of some points we’ve been making at Public Knowledge for a while. As the story notes, “these streaming services have yet to figure out how to make money. In fact, the more people they sign up, the more money they lose. That’s because the services are paying more for programming than what they’re charging consumers.”
Back in May, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking public comments and recommendations from stakeholders on its international internet policy priorities. Among other issues, NTIA sought comment on: 1) challenges to the free flow of information online, 2) the multistakeholder approach to internet governance, and 3) privacy and security. Last week, Public Knowledge submitted its comments in response to NTIA’s public notice. If you’re interested in what we had to say, but not so interested in churning through 10 pages of policy analysis, then please enjoy this high-level summary of our comments submission.
Although a cybersecurity labeling system similar to Energy Star should prove valuable, we still have some questions to answer, chiefly: What would such a system look like? Who would run it? And how would someone earn the label?
In my last blog post, I explained my working definition for what constitutes a “digital platform.” Today, I focus on another concept that gets thrown around a lot: “dominant.” While many regulations promoting consumer protection and competition apply throughout a sector, some economic regulations apply to “dominant” firms or firms with “market power.” Behavior that is harmless, or potentially even positive when done by smaller companies or in a more competitive marketplace, can be anticompetitive or harmful to consumers when done by dominant firms -- regardless of the firm’s actual intent.