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The Role of Internet Intermediaries in Advancing Public Policy Objectives

image of The Role of Internet Intermediaries in Advancing Public Policy Objectives

This book presents a comprehensive view of Internet intermediaries, their economic and social function, development and prospects, benefits and costs, and roles and responsibilities. Divided into three parts, Part I, The Economic and Social Role of Internet Intermediaries, develops a common definition and understanding of what Internet intermediaries are, of their economic function and economic models, of recent market developments, and discusses the economic and social uses that these actors satisfy. Part II, The Role of Internet Intermediaries in Advancing Public Policy Objectives, examines the roles and responsibilities of Internet intermediaries in advancing public policy objectives, as well as the costs and benefits of their involvement through a series of case studies. Part III provides a summary of an experts workshop that identified lessons learned and best practices from the experience to date of Internet intermediaries in advancing public policy objectives.

English

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Executive summary

Internet intermediaries provide the Internet’s basic infrastructure and platforms by enabling communication and transactions between third parties. They can be commercial or non-commercial in nature, and include Internet service providers (ISPs), hosting providers, search engines, e-commerce intermediaries, payment intermediaries and participative networked platforms. Their main functions are: i) to provide infrastructure; ii) to collect, organise and evaluate dispersed information; iii) to facilitate social communication and information exchange; iv) to aggregate supply and demand; v) to facilitate market processes; vi) to provide trust; and vii) to take account of the needs of both buyers/users and sellers/advertisers. Related public policy issues concern notably their roles, legal responsibilities and liability for the actions of users of their platforms.

English

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