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Parliamentary questions
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20 July 2018
E-004103-18
Question for written answer E-004103-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

 Subject:  Concerns and the link between technological interoperability as a competition tool for SME growth — Length of anti-trust cases
 Answer in writing 

The technological and economic dynamics underpinning digital markets continue to test our existing anti-trust tools and metrics for evaluating mergers and competition issues(1). These developments are moving at a very fast pace.

Many have argued that a focus on safeguarding and enhancing technological interoperability is one of the most promising approaches that competition enforcement authorities could deploy to combat the unique challenges in the digital sectors, such as by ensuring that dominant market actors provide fair and non-discriminatory access to their platforms through the use of public application programming interfaces (APIs)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6).

In this context and in light of the big antitrust cases on the table:
1. Does the Commission currently take technological interoperability considerations into account when reviewing mergers or anti-trust issues in the digital sectors?
2. If not, does the Commission have any plans to do so?
Given the deliberate strategy pursued by some lawyers to engage in delaying tactics (eight years in some antitrust cases):
3. Is there any reflection in the Directorate-General for Competition on the most appropriate tool for addressing these concerns, and does Commissioner Vestager agree that the timeframes for anti‐trust cases are too long and that they should be reformed to set deadlines for parties’ answers/comments along similar lines to those in merger cases?

(1)https://Internethealthreport.org/2018/too-big-tech/
(2)https://medium.com/@mchrisriley/competition-through-interoperability-3ed34a5c55f1
(3)https://medium.com/@mchrisriley/interoperability-questions-of-principle-and-principal-6eeb8b4ff2a2
(4)https://medium.com/@mchrisriley/using-interoperability-for-horizontal-competition-and-data-portability-6706906ce699
(5)https://dci.mit.edu/decentralizedweb/
(6)https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/20/opinion/monitor-fake-news.html

Last updated: 2 August 2018Legal notice