Session B3 – The Evolving Internet Ecosystem: A Two-sided Market?

Date: 18 July 2012 (Wednesday)

Time: 16:30 – 18:00

Venue: Room 17606, 6th Floor, Building No.17, Aoyama Campus, Aoyama Gakuin University

There’s been increased interest in the functioning of “two-sided” markets online in the US and Europe, but it has yet to become an issue in APAC. Economists globally have been increasingly interested in recent years in “two-sided markets,” cases where economic platforms having two distinct user groups that provide each other with network benefits. Sufficient subscription from both sides of the market ensure the combined network effects make for a sustainable market. Free-to-air broadcast television is often given as one example, where the television network intermediates between advertisers and viewers; credit card systems are another, intermediating between merchants and consumers. The flow of payments in these two-sided markets can sometimes be quite different from those in conventional markets, as a means of achieving the levels of participation in the market. This workshop will consider:

  • Should the Internet ecosystem be viewed as a form of two-sided market, with network operators / ISPs collectively intermediating between content providers and consumers?
  • In what ways does the Internet differ from other two-sided platforms? In what ways is it similar?
  • How might a change in the level of any of these payments alter levels of participation?
  • What economic consequences might flow from changes in the level of payments and participation in the market?
  • What social consequences might follow (for example, as regards innovation or free speech)?

A diverse international panel of stakeholders will consider these issues from a wide range of perspectives.


Moderator – Mr. Iarla Flynn, Head of Public Policy & Government Affairs, Google Australia & New Zealand 


  • Mr. Holly Raiche, ISOC Australia
  • Mr. Fouad Bajwa, Co-vice chair of APRALO; Independent ICT4D & Internet Governance Advisor
  • Mr. Geoff Huston, Chief Scientist, APNIC
  • Mr. Suhaidi Hassan, Vice Chair, Malaysia ISOC Chapter
  • Mr. Robert Pepper, Vice President, Global Technology Policy, Cisco Systems, Inc.