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Open Competition

Competition rules address issues of market power, whether through the prohibition of abuse of dominant positions by firms, or through the rules that control anti-competitive agreements and cartels. The ICT sector has historically been an area where these rules have been applied proactively by the authorities to open up the market, whether in access to telecommunications infrastructures or access to the facilities and operating systems of computer companies.

For a list of all Open Competition articles, click here.

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Draft Motion for a Resolution on Supporting Consumer Rights in the Digital Single Market

OCA supports several key points in the draft Motion for a Resolution before the European Parliament, including the fact that the Resolution targets the need to address dominant search engines and that the Commission should consider unbundling of such dominant search engines from commercial products...

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OFT calls for information on the supply of information and communications technology to the public sector

On 3 July 2013, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a call for information on the supply of information and communications technology (ICT) goods and services to the public sector. The OFT is keen to ensure that competition in this sector works well. It is seeking information on the structure and operation of the public sector ICT markets in order to understand the ICT products and services involved, who supplies them, the structure and operation of these markets (including, in particular, barriers to entry and to switching) and the degree of competition between suppliers. The OFT invites information and evidence to be submitted by 18 August 2013. It intends to announce its findings and any proposed further action in October 2013.

Click here to read the OFT press release.


Government departments ordered to comply with open standards

(Computerworld UK) By Derek du Preez

Effective immediately, all government departments are to comply with a set of Open Standards Principles (OSPs) when procuring for IT contracts.

The standards were developed following a public consultation that ran from February to June this year, where feedback from government bodies and IT suppliers was assessed to establish whether OSPs would reduce costs and level the playing field for SMEs when bidding for government contracts.

Click here to read the article.


Google faces S Korea antitrust complaint

(Financial Times) By Song Jung-a

South Korea’s top internet providers have launched an antitrust complaint against Google, alleging that the US group is stifling competition in the domestic mobile search market.

NHN, which runs Naver, the country’s leading search engine, and Daum Communications filed a petition with the country’s Fair Trade Commission on Friday, asking the antitrust watchdog to look into Google’s business practices in Korea.

Click here to read the Financial Times article (subscription required)


EC "Guidelines on the applicability of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to horizontal co-operation agreements"

These guidelines set out the principles  for the assessment under Article 101 of the TFEU ("Article 101") of agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings and concerted practices (collectively referred to as "agreements") pertaining to horizontal co-operation between competitors. In addition, these guidelines also cover horizontal co-operation agreements between non-competitors, for example, between two companies active in the same product markets but in different geographic markets without being potential competitors. 

Click here to read the guidelines.