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The economic governance of digital networks: towards an analysis of internet markets and competition and its impacts on users' rights

Abstract

The research aims to analyze the dynamics of economic governance of digital networks in the society and their impacts on user rights in countries from different continents. The study will analyse the evaluation of relevant market structures, competitive strategies of main economic players and economic regulation initiatives in different countries and regional blocs. Based on theoretical en methodological framework, it seeks to analyze and propose economic governance measures to guarantee rights in Brazil from starting from the perspective of Internet Steering Committee in Brazil (CGI.Br) decalogue and rights provided for in current legislation.Recognizing the transnational character of digital networks, the research proposes a double approach by selecting a set of countries from different continents and also building an assessment of the Brazilian situation. Therefore, the research will consider the market structures in the United States, where the main corporations in the sector originate, and China, which emerges as its main competitor. Although they are not central to the definitions of this general dynamic, Argentina and Brazil will be analyzed, intending to discuss the participation of countries from the global South. The study will also address the perspective of the European Union, where theories and actions have been formulated in terms of governance that are more attentive to issues such as the right to protection of personal data and the establishment of antitrust measures. The universe of digital networks will be examinated in two large groups: Internet connection providers and application and content providers, taken in their own dimensions due to the specificities of each market segment.Economic governance will be analyzed through five axes:1) Political-institutional environment: formed by normative frameworks (such as laws, decrees and norms), public bodies and competition regulatory authorities with an impact on the specific sector and the performance of these institutions in these markets;2) Technological trajectories of the technical solutions of the technological paradigm of digital networks that affect the market structure and competitive dynamics;3) Market structures: understood as the manifestation of competition in a given sector, including the quantity and participation of each agent in the activities that make up this area, including barriers to entry (economic-productive and political-institutional);4) Business strategies: characterized by the behavior of agents in a given market to obtain better positions in the market dispute (including competitive and anti-competitive practices);5) The ways in which countries are inserted in global value chains and in global processes of economic and political-institutional governance.The study is justified by the centrality of digital networks in contemporary societies and by the impact of concentration on the markets related to them, a phenomenon that mobilizes attention from the sphere of competition in elections, including concerns about radicalization, hate speech and misinformation. The Internet rises both as a relevant economic segment in itself and as a mediator of a so-called "4th Industrial Revolution". Power in digital markets thus has impacts not only on them, but on growing spheres of social life, which is why concentration emerges as a widespread concern. Academics, international organizations, national authorities and civil society entities have been working on the topic with a view to updating the antitrust instrument to new dynamics in order to guarantee competition, freedom of expression and other rights and encourage innovation in the provision of connection and applications and content. Regulatory authorities have been opening investigations against industry giants such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. (AU)

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