25 May 2012

Competition, Neutrality and Diversity in the Cloud

Andrea Renda

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The emergence of cloud computing is promising enormous benefits for small businesses, due to the dramatic reduction in IT costs caused by the service-oriented architecture. At the same time, the transition to a cloud ecosystem is more controversial for individual end users, as emerging business models can potentially affect both competition within and across layers, and the end-to-end nature of the Internet. CEPS Senior Fellow Andrea Renda (LUISS Guido Carli and European University Institute) has published an article entitled "Competition, Neutrality and  Diversity in the Cloud" in a special issue (No. 85) of the journal Communications & Strategies devoted to Cloud ecosystem and platforms competition. His paper argues that policy-makers should work on several fronts, including privacy, security and competition policy, before the transition to the cloud ecosystem can be seen as really conducive to a desirable outcome for end users. Work in the direction of the inter-cloud architecture and a European partnership for cloud computing should thus be oriented towards an open, competitive environment, compatible with different levels of quality of service, and such that end users can still access a robust, best-effort internet infrastructure, along with managed services with guaranteed QoS.

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