26 November 2018, Paris, France
The OECD Network of Economic Regulators (NER) held a successful 11th meeting on Monday 26 November. The meeting brought together high level representatives from over 50 regulators from across the world, including new participants from Canada, France, Lithuania and New Zealand. This meeting took forward the NER’s discussion on the “future of regulation” based on the role and experiences of regulatory authorities in the frontlines of the transformation of our economies by disruptive technologies and other on-going work streams.
Discussions focused on the impact of the data revolution on markets, and how disruptive technologies affect infrastructure networks and their regulation. It was shown how data driven markets can be tipped into monopolies, where incumbents build an advantage for crossing sector boundaries. Data sharing and availability constitute solutions that can enhance customer engagement but also pose questions of privacy, consent and ethics. It was also noted that digitalisation, machine learning and automation could also exacerbate more “traditional” regulatory challenges such as asymmetrical information and risk management. Discussions on disruptive technologies and infrastructure highlighted the pace and diversity of impacts of recent technological changes on traditional infrastructure networks. A new digital service layer that shares characteristics with traditional network industries, can lead to competition where monopolies were thought to be prevalent. Across energy, transport and communication networks, these new services can create additional demand, affecting capacity and maintenance planning, as well as divert funding away from infrastructure managers by creating new (unregulated) business models.
Other sessions included discussion of cutting edge work of the NER in the following areas:
Finally, the NER also continued its long-standing collaboration with the French Club des régulateurs with a seminar focused on RegTech on Tuesday 27 November, furthering the discussion on the challenges and opportunities faced by regulators in using and regulating new technologies.
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