Interoperability as a tool for competition regulation

I’m excited to get my new preprint up for comments:

This briefing paper analyses up-front interoperability requirements as a pro-competition policy tool for regulating large online platforms, such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft. It is based on a synthesis of recent comprehensive policy reviews of digital competition in major industrialised economies, and related academic literature, focusing on areas of emerging consensus while noting important disagreements. It draws particularly on the Vestager, Furman and Stigler reviews, and the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s study on online platforms and digital advertising.

This is the first of a series of three papers. The second paper will consider interoperability in practice, looking in detail at the technical implications. The third paper will analyse the impact of interoperability on phenomena such as privacy and disinformation (preliminary versions of which appear in this first review.) These further papers will draw more heavily on interviews with software developers, platform operators, government officials, and academic and civil society experts working in this field.