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8th Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures. DIGITAL PLATFORMS – THE NEW NETWORK INDUSTRIES? How to regulate them?

Organization: Florence School of Regulation
Categories: Interdisciplinary, Popular Culture, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy
Event Date: 2019-06-20 to 2019-06-21 Abstract Due: 2019-02-03

Digitalisation is transforming all industries, including the network industries. It is creating a new model of industrial organisation using online platform as intermediaries for multisided markets. As a matter of fact, digital platforms display all characteristics of the traditional network industries: network effects, efficiency, scale, concentration, market power, etc.

The involvement of online platforms in the network industries benefits consumers by fulfilling unmet needs, often efficiently and at low cost. Platforms do this partly by exploiting access to existing network infrastructures that are often vital for national economic growth and wellbeing. However, if online platforms are allowed to sideline traditional network operators, it may mean that vital investment in building and maintaining the infrastructures on which these markets are founded becomes unsustainable in the long-term.

Another pertinent issue concerns the regulatory approach to platforms, as the success of online platforms is achieved, in part, by exploiting regulatory environments that place incumbent firms at a disadvantage. There is a debate as to whether platforms should be subject to the same regulatory obligations as traditional network players, and whether platforms should have access to network services under regulated terms.

This 8th Florence Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures aims to:

·         identify the key challenges of digitalisation for traditional network industries,

·         discover various regulatory approaches to platforms,

·         determine benefit scenarios for consumers and to the platforms itself.

Papers will be presented in parallel sessions dedicated to the following infrastructure sectors:

·         Communications and media

·         Energy and Climate

·         Transport and mobility

·         Water distribution

·         Wastewater and waste management

We encourage contributions that link different infrastructure sectors. Contributions utilizing multidisciplinary as well as interdisciplinary approaches to regulation are welcome. Papers linking academia and practice, as well as policy research papers are particularly encouraged.

The conference is intended for academics such as PhD students, PostDocs and Assistant/associate/full Professors as well as academically minded practitioners.

Conference structure
The format of the Florence Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures is unique:

·      Each presenter has 45’, which includes 20’ of presentation, 10’ of qualified feedback and 15’ of discussion with the audience (there are only 2 papers per session, guaranteeing high quality discussions);

·      Feedback will be given by senior professors associated with the Florence School of Regulation who are specifically knowledgeable about the topic at hand;

·      Papers retained for publication will receive additional feedback beyond the Conference.

·      Submission of the abstract by 3 February 2019 (word format download the guidelines) using the online form. For any issue regarding the submission, please contact Ms Irina Lapenkova at FSR.Transport@eui.eu;

·      Notification of acceptance by 22 February 2019;

·      Submission of the full paper by 26 May 2019; participants who fail to submit a full paper by this deadline will be automatically removed from the programme;

·      Conference on 20-21 June 2019 in Florence (Italy).

Conference fee
·         150 EUR - Partial fee waivers for PhD students are available. Please contact Ms Irina Lapenkova at FSR.Transport@eui.eu for further information.

Guidelines for the abstract
·      600-1000 words

·      Title of the paper & keywords

·      Name of the author(s) and full address of the corresponding author

·      The aim and methodology of the paper

·      Results obtained or expected

Publication opportunities
·      Papers will qualify for the Journal Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, which is published by Sage as of 2017.

·      A summary of the 4-5 best papers will have the chance to be published in the dedicated issue of the Network Industries Quarterly (Issue 21, Vol 3, September 2019).

Organizing Committee
·      Prof Simone Borghesi (EUI, Part-time professor and Director of the Climate Area of the FSR. Siena University, Professor)

·      Prof Matthias Finger (EUI, Part-time professor and Director of the Transport Area of the FSR. EPFL, Professor and Director of the Chair of Management of Network Industries)

·      Prof Jean-Michel Glachant (EUI, Robert Schuman Chair, Director of the FSR, Director of the Energy & Climate Area of the FSR, Holder of the Loyola de Palacio Chair)

·      Prof Juan Montero (EUI, Part-time professor of the Transport Area of the FSR, Professor of Administrative Law and Regulation in UNED University (Madrid)

·      Prof Pier Luigi Parcu (EUI, Part-time professor and Area Director of the FSR Communications & Media, CMPF)

·      Prof Stéphane Saussier (EUI, Part-time professor and Director of the Water Area of the FSR. IAE de Paris, Professor and Director of the EPPP Research Group)



Irina Lapenkova