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We live in a world connected by many different networks. Network components can be physical, virtual, or a combination of both. Some network industries rely on physical infrastructures, such as electrical power and telephony networks, while others are mainly organized around virtual network standards, such as the Internet and the software industry. The control and use of network infrastructures and standards in network industries not only reflects technological developments and business decisions, but also entails legal constraints. This article will discuss the concept of network effects, the relevance of network infrastructures and standards, and some legal frameworks regarding the control and use of network infrastructures and standards.
Date of Publication: May-June 2004