The Ex Ante Auction Model for the Control of Market Power in Standard Setting Organizations

33 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2007  

Anne Layne-Farrar

Charles River Associates; Northwestern University

Damien Geradin

Tilburg Law & Economics Center (TILEC); University College London - Faculty of Laws

Jorge Padilla

Compass Lexecon

Date Written: April 2007

Abstract

RAND commitments — i.e., promises to license on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms — play a key role in standard setting processes. However, the usefulness of those commitments has recently been questioned. The problem allegedly lies in the absence of a generally agreed test to determine whether a particular license satisfies a RAND commitment. Swanson and Baumol have suggested that the concept of a 'reasonable' royalty for purposes of RAND licensing must be defined and implemented by reference to ex ante competition. In their opinion, a royalty should be deemed reasonable when it approximates the outcome of an ex ante auction process where IP owners submit RAND commitments coupled with licensing terms and selection to the standard is based on both technological merit and licensing terms. In this paper we investigate whether the ex ante auction approach proposed by Swanson and Baumol is likely to deliver efficient outcomes, both from static and dynamic standpoints. We find that given the peculiar characteristics of some of the industries where standardization takes place, in particular the many different business models adopted by innovating companies in those industries, the ex ante auction approach proposed by Swanson and Baumol may not always deliver the right outcomes from a social welfare viewpoint.

Keywords: RAND, Licensing, Ex Ante Auctions, Reasonable Royalties

JEL Classification: O30, L41, L13, K21

Suggested Citation

Layne-Farrar, Anne and Geradin, Damien and Padilla, Jorge, The Ex Ante Auction Model for the Control of Market Power in Standard Setting Organizations (April 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=979393 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.979393

Anne Layne-Farrar (Contact Author)

Charles River Associates ( email )

1 South Wacker Drive
Suite 3400
Chicago, IL 60606
United States
312-377-9238 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.crai.com

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Damien Geradin

Tilburg Law & Economics Center (TILEC)

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Jorge Padilla

Compass Lexecon ( email )

Paseo de la Castellana 7
Madrid, 28046
Spain

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