The European Union has launched a new initiative called the “Digital Agenda” which hopes to expand the ways in which companies can violate anti-trust laws; especially in environments where standards have yet to be defined.

It defends its arguments by stating that where there is no interoperability, competition is lost. “Since not all pervasive technologies are based on standards the benefits of interoperability risk being lost in such areas.

The Commission will examine the feasibility of measures that could lead significant market players to license interoperability information while at the same time promoting innovation and competition.”

The Antitrust suit specifically targets Apple disallowance of developers to use Flash to create application on Apple’s market-leading iOS. EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes curtly states “We need to make sure that significant market players cannot just choose to deny interoperability with their product.” This may force Apple to allow iOS developers to use other Programming suites such as Adobe’s Flash.

Full quote below:

User data is moving more and more into the ‘cloud’ and people are getting their music, videos and applications digitally (for example through iTunes) instead of buying them in physical media.

We need to make sure that significant market players cannot just choose to deny interoperability with their product. This is particularly important in cases where standards don’t exist.

Under the Digital Agenda for Europe, we will examine the feasibility of introducing measures to make big market players license interoperability information.

InteroperabilityThe lack of interoperability information was at the heart of one of her most high-profile battles with ICT giant Microsoft, which cost the company a $1.3 billion fine in 2008.

This is not just about Microsoft or any big company like Apple, IBM or Intel. The main challenge is that consumers need choice when it comes to software or hardware products,” the commissioner insisted.”Any kind of IT product should be able to communicate with any type of service in the future.

EurActiv Via RethinkWireless

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