Digitalisation is in everyone’s hands. During the last nine years the smartphone tremendously changed private lifestyle. Anytime and everywhere we are connected, we have options for decision making and controlling in real-time. Producer of hardware as well as software service provider of platforms are driving these current structural change’s aspects. However – although less visible publicly – digital transformation also includes traditional industry, this is what the buzzword “Industrie 4.0” stands for.

The political and public debate on necessary control of this transformation is as much hallmarked by the search for starting points as by heated demands for targeted competition law based interventions. In this context, it has to be noted that the digital transformation’s different aspects are neither adequately differentiated nor systematically captured. That is the task this contribution tackles. A classification for digital business models is developed, in order to analytically exploit the different scopes and consistently infer politico-economic need for action.

IW policy paper

Michael Hüther: Digitalisation: An engine for structural change – A challenge for economic policy

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