Following a public consultation on Access to Interoperability Information of Digital Products and Services, it has been decided that no legislative action will be proposed during this Commission's mandate. Follow-up actions include soft measures centred on model licences and guidelines for valuating interoperability information.
What is the problem?
Companies in the ICT sector that achieve wide market penetration of their products or applications may not easily make available information that would allow other products to interoperate with them. If their products are incompatible with those of other brands, users feel locked into one company's product range, for fear that any new product they purchase will not be compatible with their existing ones.
Why is EU action required?
Companies should easily provide interoperability information about their products. With this information available, smaller enterprises have the opportunity to develop compatible products or applications. The end result will be an extremely competitive market and a happy consumer.
What has the Commission done up to now?
- The Commission explored potential legislative and non-legislative measures for facilitating access to and licensing of interoperability information.
- A Public Consultation on the Access to Interoperability Information of Digital Products and Services was held in 2012. It addressed owners and potential users of interoperability information not covered by standards.
- Following the public consultation, and as confirmed by the mid-term review of the Digital Agenda (COM(2012)784), legislative measures do not appear to be proportionate to address the issues at stake. A Staff working document describing the various outcomes was drafted.
What will the Commission do next?
Following the release of the staff working document, non-legislative measures will be pursued, notably the launch of studies for the development of model licences for interoperability information and guidelines for estimating the value of interoperability information.The results of these studies will be published in 2014.