The Chair “Innovation and regulation in digital services”

In 2007, École polytechnique, Télécom ParisTech and Orange decided to create a Chair on “Innovation and Regulation in digital services”. This Chair aims to contribute to the development and the animation of a theoretical work of reference. Together, they intend to develop competences and research in this matter, to understand and analyze its bases in economic theory.

Ecole Polytechnique and Telecom ParisTech, which deliver education of excellence for high level engineers and scientists, hold a recognized expertise in the field of the digital economy. Orange Group wishing to increase its collaboration with higher educational and research institutions intends to take part in the developments of research and education on this topic of general interest.

The Chair intends to develop the following themes

  • creation, production, development and consumption of immaterial services and of the sector of information technologies and communication,
  • dynamics of innovation, principles and tools of regulation and their economic effects on medium and long terms. On these topics, the Chair will have also vocation to propose suitable training for experts and professionals confronted with the questions of economy and regulation of the digital economy. In particular, the Chair will propose a course of Master.

The objectives of animation of research pursued by the Chair are carried out via

  • the organization and the coordination of seminars based on interdisciplinary exchanges,
  • the reception of high level visiting professors and researchers,
  • the reception of PHD and post-PHD chosen among the best candidates at the international level,
  • the production of work of synthesis, state of the art or prospective.

The education and research programme address the following topics of work

Understand and anticipate the reorganizations of value chains issued from the digitization of the information and communication services

How does the industrial structure of the sector of the technologies of information and communications change (competition, partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, innovation and equipment/network/software/medias vertical relations)? How do the economic models of the companies of this sector and those of the companies and the sectors strongly impacted by the use of communication and information technologies change (in the traditional industry and commercial services, but also health or education)? Which are the processes of anticipation and creation of services and distribution of the new services ? Under which conditions and by which mechanisms, the specific formation of the markets of these new services allows it the sustainable financing of the infrastructures? Which adjustment economic mechanisms between the short cycles of introduction and diffusion of new services and the long cycles of financing of the infrastructures of network?

Understand and anticipate the demand evolutions

As regards communication, the uses very often “overflowed” or “diverted” the offer of services to concretely reflect the evolutions of the society insufficiently anticipated (and/or difficult or impossible to anticipate) by the operators and the companies. One observes today, the phenomena “of ascending innovation”, co-construction of the innovations with the users who transform the relation of the companies with their customers and impact the traditional mechanisms of competition. Which consequences can one draw on the formation of the markets? Which is the impact of the phenomena of “long tail” and “hyper segmentation”? Which are the consequences of this users implication on the protection of privacy on the one hand and on the risks of exclusion of the users little or not implied, on the other hand?

Analyze the modes of regulation of the markets in renewal, to anticipate and evaluate the modes of regulation which could prevail in the medium and long term

How, by covering a historical approach as well as prospective, can one anticipates the convergence/coordination of the regulations resulting from the “convergence” of the networks, the services, the uses? Can one measure the effects of the modes of regulation on innovation, growth, wellbeing of the consumers, in all dimensions of diffusion of the equipment, the services, the uses (penetration/equalization/segmentation). Usage is at the same time the revealing mechanism and the place of confrontation of the sector regulations of the telecommunications infrastructures and services, of broadcasting infrastructures and services, of audio-visual services, of IPR, royalties, protection of privacy and competition regulation. It is also the place where new mechanisms of self-regulation are formed, of intermediation, revaluations of ethics, deontology…

Evaluate the modes of institutional monitoring

Evaluate the modes of institutional monitoring (sector policy, and “governance”) in particular for the relations between territories and communication (especially to the extremes of the equipment of the rural zones on the one hand and globalization on the other hand. How this relations to the territory, (with the questions of sovereignty and safety which accompany their management), how do the request for “universality” of the services, (with the questions of standard, interconnection, interoperability) interfere with the modes of regulation ?

Christine Zulehner

Titular Professor of the Innovation & Regulation in Digital Services Chair

Appointed on May 1st, 2016 as Titular Professor, Christine Zulehner is Professor of Industrial Organization and Financial Markets at Goethe University Frankfurt and the LOEWE center SAFE as well as research staff member at Austrian Institute of Economic Research. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Humboldt University Berlin and is interested in industrial organization, competition policy and applied microeconomics. Her research has been published in international journals such as the American Economic Review, International Journal of Industrial Organization, Journal of the European Economic Association, Journal of Regulatory Economics, and Review of Financial Studies.

Her research in the telecommunications industry has focused on substitutability between fixed and mobile telephony, retail and wholesale market definition in the broadband industry including implications for competition policy and market structure and market performance in e-commerce.

In the context of the research program of the Chair, Christine plans to develop research on:

• estimating demand for mobile tariffs/handsets

• market definition in the telecommunications industry, with implications for competition policy.