The digitalisation of content and services has increased choice, innovation and competition and provides a crucial opportunity to realise a true Single Market for goods and services in Europe. At the same time, however, it has revealed weaknesses and fragmentation in Europe’s regulatory system and has introduced new (often global) com-petitors who disrupt previous market structures.
In view of these developments, there have been growing calls for action from the European Parliament and Council to complete Europe’s Digital Single Market. In May 2015, the European Commission launched a programme of regulatory reform to achieve a Digital Single Market (DSM), and opened a sector inquiry into potential competition issues affecting e-commerce.
In this study, we (1) explore current and emerging business models for over-the-top (OTT) services (including Voice over IP, instant messaging services, and streaming video and music services); (2) identify costs and barriers to European online service development including over-the-top (OTT); (3) describe the regulatory environment for online services in Europe, as well as the environment in some of Europe’s major trading partners; and (4) make recommendations for digital policy.
The sudy is available for download (see right column).