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Parliamentary questions
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8 October 2018
Answer given by Ms Vestager on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-004103/2018

The Commission is bound under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and legislation deriving from it to examine mergers and antitrust cases.

It does so on a case-by-case basis by analysing possible competition concerns on the basis of the specific market situation and facts at hand. Accordingly, while there is no general competition rule in relation to interoperability, concerns regarding a lack of interoperability have been at the heart of a number of antitrust and merger cases in recent years, including the Microsoft antitrust case(1), the Microsoft/LinkedIn merger case(2) and the Broadcom/Brocade merger case(3).

In all these cases, the companies had to ensure interoperability with certain products of competitors to remedy or avoid competition problems.

The Commission agrees that speedy intervention increases the relevance and impact of its competition decisions. Speed can however not compromise the need for thorough investigations based on all the facts of the case, internal checks-and-balances and full respect of parties' rights of defence.

The Commission is nonetheless constantly striving to improve and speed up its procedures, for example with improved access to file and document handling, or with cartel settlements and antitrust cooperation. The Commission is grateful for the European Parliament's support for these initiatives in its latest resolution on competition policy.

(1)http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-04-382_en.htm?locale=en for details of the prohibition Decision.
(2)http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-4284_en.htm for details of the conditional clearance Decision.
(3)http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-1309_en.htm for details of the conditional clearance Decision.

Last updated: 8 October 2018Legal notice