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Javnost - The Public, Vol. 9 - 2002, No. 3

Digital Convergence: Challenges for European Regulation

, pages: 27-48

The aim of this paper is to assess the impact of the forthcoming multimedia convergence on communications regulation in Europe and to propose an appropriate regulatory framework in the digital universe. It is divided in three parts. The first part attempts to identify the term “convergence” and explores the challenges that it poses to European policy makers. Part two assesses the extent to which traditional communications regulation models are applicable across digital communication outlets in the age of the converging value chain as well as the balance between competition law and sector-specific regulation to be adopted. In particular, it explores the importance of competition regulation and sector-specific media ownership and content restrictions and assesses whether they continue to occupy an important place in the new era. The third part puts forward proposals for introducing fresh rules to maximise the benefits of the digital convergence in terms of growth of industry and consumer access and choice.

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