This edition of the TechReg Chronicle® focuses on the issue of interoperability between technologies. Dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, regulatory remedies in technology-focused industries have often focused on “interoperability” in order to foster competition and address perceived foreclosure concerns deriving from the strength of incumbent companies. To this date, interoperability-type remedies are often mooted in order to address similar concerns.
The authors of the pieces in this edition of the Chronicle address the contemporary questions around the issue of interoperability as a remedy in modern tech markets.
Jay Ezrielev opens with a broad discussion of interoperability, noting that it is an essential mechanism of modern communication. However, he notes that not all interoperability is benign or efficiency-enhancing. Interoperability has an alternative role as a tool of regulatory policy for granting access to a closed network. Mandatory interoperability comes loaded with regulations that supplant market prices. Network access price regulation and the no self-preference rule are two such regulations. The resolution of this dilemma is key to understanding how interoperability can be implemented as a solution to the contemporary dilemmas where it is proposed today.
Although interoperability is usually associated with “Big Tech” markets such as operating systems or broader technology platforms, Cheyney O’Fallon & Avi Gopste...