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The document is an exploration of the critical issues arising from the emerging Internet economy, in order to inform Dutch policy makers and to help prepare for the Dutch position in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conference on the Internet at Seoul in 2008. It is based on a horizon scan of literature and subsequent discussions in four thematic seminars on 17 and 18 October 2007. The document identifies underlying issues and dilemmas that policy makers will face as the Internet economy develops and analyses these in relation to the changing policy context in which the Ministry of Economic Affairs operates. As well as the impact on the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the study looks at the impact of the Internet economy on the government and the public at large, and makes suggestions as to how the Ministry may address them. The paper informs the reader of key issues and makes statements for discussion. As this field is still very much in early development, the paper aims to foster an ongoing inclusive debate on the subject. This 'discussion paper' format aims to make the underlying issues more explicit and to trigger a broader debate on the effects of the emerging Internet economy. Besides being a discussion paper, the document also serves as a briefing paper for the Dutch delegation to the 2008 OECD Ministerial Conference. As a result, the document includes in places a deeper exploration of the themes of the Conference.

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The research in this report was prepared for The Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs and conducted by RAND Europe.

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