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DisCo Policy Forum Panel – Breaking Barriers to Internet-enabled Competition (1 of 5)

At the end of 2013, Project DisCo hosted its first physical world event, The Disruptive Competition Policy Forum.  Over the next few days, we are going to post the videos of the great panels and keynotes here.

Details below.

Our first panel focused on local barriers to Internet-enabled competition.  Given the recent spike in incumbent attacks on Internet-enabled business models (e.g., Uber, Airbnb, Tesla, etc.), this panel was unfortunately all too timely.  Panelists from Uber and Tesla shared fascinating firsthand accounts of their fight against incumbent cab companies and auto dealers, respectively.  The other panelists framed the recent events against the backdrop of history and discussed important economic and legal considerations as well.


Chris Sagers (moderator) – Associate Professor of Law at Cleveland State University

Jim Chen – Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Associate General Counsel at Tesla Motors

Michael McGeary – Cofounder and Chief Political Strategist at Engine Advocacy

Corey Owens – Head of Public Policy at Uber

Patrick Roach – Attorney Advisor, Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission


Some, if not all of society’s most useful innovations are the byproduct of competition. In fact, although it may sound counterintuitive, innovation often flourishes when an incumbent is threatened by a new entrant because the threat of losing users to the competition drives product improvement. The Internet and the products and companies it has enabled are no exception; companies need to constantly stay on their toes, as the next startup is ready to knock them down with a better product.