Digital transformation, energy transition and liberalization of network industries have been fostering innovation and entry in many markets. Disruptive business models based on new technologies, renewed marketing methods and innovative monetization models are impacting competitors and industries. New entrants and new business models are particularly tricky in the case of regulated industries. On the one hand, they might be vectors of change, both because they enrich the portfolio of services available to the users, and because they increase the competitive pressure on incumbent firms. On the other hand, they can hinder the capability of funding infrastructures and other public goods, providing services of general interest and managing public policies.
Such tradeoffs are difficult to manage. First, these disruptive business models question in some cases the rationales for regulation and show that its principles, scope and tools should probably evolve. Second, at this stage it is still difficult for the regulatory authorities to estimate the costs and the benefits of these innovative processes and at which time and pace (if ever) regulation should intervene.
This report summarizes the contributions to the Club of Regulators' annual conference organised on 3 November 2016.