Note: Andrew Updegrove maintains The Standards Blog where he examines how standards are developed, and their impact on business, society, and the future. For more information, please visit The Standard Blog at ConsortiumInfo.org
At intervals, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DoJ) have undertaken public initiatives intended to support the standards development process from the antitrust perspective. In each case, I’ve found the regulators to be open minded and genuinely interested in understanding the marketplace. Often, the goal of their information gathering efforts is to later issue guidelines that encourage good behavior, and make clear what they consider to be over the line. The result is that it makes it easier and safer for stakeholders to participate actively in the standard setting process. Regulators in the European Union follow the same practice.