Draft BEREC Report on the entry of large content and application providers into the markets for electronic communications networks and services

Document number: BoR (24) 51

Document date: 07-03-2024

Date of registration: 12-03-2024

Document type:
Author: BEREC

Large content and application providers (CAPs) have traditionally provided services on the client and server sides of the internet ecosystem. However, in the last decades, large CAPs have become prominent actors in the internet ecosystem and have been investing increasingly in own infrastructures and providing services closely related to electronic communication networks (ECN) and electronic communication services (ECS), or directly qualifying as such. Some typical examples include content delivery networks (CDNs), the deployment of extensive international networks (e.g. submarine cables and satellite constellations), virtualised network services, cloud computing with increasing ubiquity, as well as trends towards the provision of internet access services.

This report gives an overview of the impact of large CAPs on the markets for ECN and ECS in Europe, by presenting their strategies, business models, and relations with traditional ECN/ECS providers in terms of competition, cooperation and interdependence. BEREC has already highlightedhow the accumulation of a significant variety of the internet ecosystem elements in the hand of a few Big Tech companies can have important consequences, such as leading to market concentration (as it is the case e.g. for cloud services, instant messaging, and operating systems), or affecting internet traffic and the decentralised approach on which the internet was created.