Exploring New Ways to Ensure Interoperability Under the Digital Agenda

Info - The journal of policy, regulation and strategy for telecommunications, information and media 2014, Vol. 16, No. 1, p. 7-16.

12 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2014

See all articles by Inge Graef

Inge Graef

Tilburg Law School; Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT); Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Peggy Valcke

KU Leuven - Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP); European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS); Bocconi University Milan

Date Written: January 6, 2014

Abstract

Purpose: This article seeks to analyze the initiative of the European Commission that studied the feasibility of measures that would lead significant market players to license their interoperability information under the Digital Agenda.

Design/methodology/Approach: The significance of the abuse of dominance regime and the electronic communications framework in ensuring access to interoperability information in the ICT sector is studied by way of analyzing legislation and case law. Against the background of these two existing regulatory regimes, the proposals that the Commission made in its recently published Staff Working Document are evaluated.

Findings: The Microsoft case illustrates that the abuse of dominance regime under European competition law is not very effective to remedy interoperability issues in a structural way. An ex ante regime will enable the ICT industry to reap the full benefits of interoperability on a broader scale. Since the Commission’s initiative seems to target interoperability among software products, the electronic communications regime is not applicable. A new regulatory regime should therefore be established. As the desirability of a mandatory regime can be questioned, the adoption of soft law measures seems to be the preferred option.

Originality/Value: By putting the initiative of the Commission to examine measures that promote access to interoperability information under the Digital Agenda into its broader regulatory context, the article contributes to the discussion on the possible ways to ensure interoperability in the ICT sector.

Keywords: Interoperability, Digital Agenda, Competition law, Electronic communications law

Suggested Citation

Graef, Inge and Valcke, Peggy, Exploring New Ways to Ensure Interoperability Under the Digital Agenda (January 6, 2014). Info - The journal of policy, regulation and strategy for telecommunications, information and media 2014, Vol. 16, No. 1, p. 7-16. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2375145

Inge Graef (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law School ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Peggy Valcke

KU Leuven - Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP) ( email )

Sint-Michielsstraat 6 box 3443
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Bocconi University Milan ( email )

via Roentgen 1
Milan, Milan 20100
Italy

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