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Monday, November 25 • 13:05 - 15:00
Pre-Event 41 - Leaving Hotel California: promoting alternatives to the Internet giants (Open-Xchange + OpenForum Europe)

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Open-Xchange and OpenForum Europe want to bring the experts, the concerned and curious to discuss tangible policy actions to increase competition and user choice in the digital markets, in particular for the platform economy. We want to have an open discussion investigating what a legal model for interoperability can look like.

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The idea of interoperability requirements based on open standards is that it would counter the concentration of the ICT markets by reducing barriers to entry, allowing competitors to compete. This in turn unleashes societal benefits such as user choice and control. We could avoid winner-takes-all outcomes and multiple closed silos, where the user has to get access to every single platform. The idea is not new. In fact, interoperability was offered as the solution in cases such as the requirements imposed by both regulators and antitrust enforcers against AT&T and by antitrust enforcers in US v. Microsoft, and was at the center of the landmark Microsoft antitrust case. It is interoperability that has allowed for third party ink-cartridges, and avoided an early monopoly of PCs.
We are again seeing interoperability entering the debate of competition in digital markets once again. In response to this, we hope to move the conversation beyond discussions on how and why markets are centralising, and instead look at which legal specifications are needed to make the promise of interoperability a reality.

In order to keep our conversation anchored in the current policy debate, we aim to shape our session around the three questions based on the preconditions for interoperability requirements posed by the European Commission in their leaked discussion document on the Digital Services Act:

●      Where does interoperability make sense?
●      When is it technically feasible?
●      In what contexts will it lead to more competition and real options for customers?


Session Organizers
avatar for Vittorio Bertola

Vittorio Bertola

Head of Policy & Innovation, Open-Xchange
Vittorio Bertola coordinates the innovation, research and policy activities at Open-Xchange, the world’s leading provider of open source email and DNS solutions for hosting, service provider and telecommunication companies, promoting new standards and travelling the world to advocate... Read More →

Monday November 25, 2019 13:05 - 15:00 CET
Raum IV