In this Chronicle, we examine the issue of Open Banking. Interoperability has long been an antitrust preoccupation. Traditionally, interoperability concerns have arisen with respect to the tech sector, as reflected in cases involving the so-called tech giants of the given day, dating back decades, to the very inception of antitrust rules.
In those contexts, antitrust enforcement resulted in remedies, such as the imposition of rules requiring dominant companies to provide for mechanisms for customers to easily export their data from one platform to another, or to provide for dominant companies to make available APIs allowing their competitors to interact with their offerings on an equal footing.
Today, a similar dynamic is playing out in the financial sector, but now under the rubric of “Open Banking.” Yet the principles are the same. As innovation grows in the so-called FinTech space, banking incumbents are facing growing pressure to facilitate market access by innovative competitors, which are often niche operators, and may provide unique consumer value. Despite these potential consumer benefits, the notion of Open Banking, as a concept of market regulation, is still nascent, and raises numerous practical regulatory issues, including from an antitrust perspective.
The articles in this Chronicle address several of the concerns raised by this live issue, based on the authors’ considerable experience with these issues around the world.