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Policy Brief

Standard-setting abuse: the case for antitrust control

Standards reduce production costs and increase the value of products to consumers; ultimately they significantly contribute to economic development. Standards however entail risks of anti-competitive abuse. After the adoption of a standard, the elimination of competition between technologies can lead to consumer harm. Fair, reasonable, nondiscriminatory (FRAND) commitments made by patent holders have been used to mitigate that risk. The European Commission recognises the importance of standards, but European Union competition policy is still seeking to identify well-targeted and efficient enforcement rules.

By: Date: February 6, 2013 Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy

Standards reduce production costs and increase the value of products to consumers; ultimately they significantly contribute to economic development. Standards however entail risks of anti-competitive abuse. After the adoption of a standard, the elimination of competition between technologies can lead to consumer harm. Fair, reasonable, nondiscriminatory (FRAND) commitments made by patent holders have been used to mitigate that risk. The European Commission recognises the importance of standards, but European Union competition policy is still seeking to identify well-targeted and efficient enforcement rules.

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