Scholars and practitioners have repeatedly questioned the democraticness and the authority of transnational multi‐stakeholder organizations, especially those that regulate the internet. To contribute to this discussion, we studied the “democratic anchorages” and the regulatory authority of 23 internet regulators. In particular, we conducted a fuzzy‐set qualitative comparative analysis assessing whether and which anchorages correspond to necessary and/or sufficient conditions for exerting regulatory authority. Our results show that strong anchorage in democratic procedures is specifically relevant for this outcome. Further, we find that weak anchorage in democratically elected politicians leads to high regulatory authority, confirming the significance of non‐state actors in this policy field. More generally, our findings support but also qualify expectations about the compatibility and mutual reinforcement of democratic quality and regulatory authority at the transnational level.