4iP News

​NEW report explores the value of ‘A FRAND Regime for Dominant Digital Platforms’

17 January 2019

Today 4iP Council releases a new study exploring how European policy and legislation has traditionally addressed issues of access to critical goods or services so as to provide inspiration in the on-going debate around dominant digital platforms. The authors of this paper are Mathew Heim, Tanfield Chambers and Dr. Igor Nikolic, University College London.

The European Commission is considering what role competition policy may play in addressing concerns linked to the market power of digital platforms.[1] The question is apposite, given that digital platforms can grow – and have grown – to a significant scale quickly and their market position, exacerbated by network effects, may soon appear unassailable. Yet applying traditional competition law doctrines to evolving technology markets raises a host of challenges for regulators. In addition new concerns, such as the importance of access to data, privacy and data protection, media plurality and democratic health, are being raised.

This study shows that the European Union institutions have consistently used the Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) regime to ensure access to critical infrastructure or inputs, whether through enforcement or regulation. Drawing out common elements of the FRAND access regime applied by the European Union, the study shows that the FRAND regime has proved itself to be a flexible tool and could be applied as a regulatory solution to dominant digital platforms.

This and our other reports are available for download in our research section.

[1] See http://ec.europa.eu/competition/scp19/.