LAPSI 2.0: Competition Law Issues Position Paper

Björn Lundqvist, Yrsa Forsberg, Marc de Vries, Mariateresa Maggiolino

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


The efforts of the European Commission are paying off: increasingly governments all over Europe are opening up their data, often without charging for the re-use. This in perfect sync with the spirit and mission of the 2003 and, in particular, 2013 PSI Directives, which both advocate free availability of PSI. In fact, Article 6 of the PSI Directive imposes, as the general rule, marginal cost, as the ceiling, for what fees may be obtained by the Public Sector Bodies (PSBs).
Interestingly, lately incumbent market players have been submitting claims that this change of policy is in fact illicit, harming their commercial interests. They argue that by opening up their PSI these governments are conducting unfair competition practices, or at least inflicting damage.
This claim merits deeper consideration: if these incumbent players are right, this could impact adoption of Open Data policies by governments throughout Europe and in fact frustrate the sound application of the PSI Directive.
A possible collision of the PSI Directive and European competition (law) principles – The LAPSI 2.0 Network has adopted it as the subject of a position paper under WP 3 (IP and competition law). The paper will initially discuss the PSI Directives and the interface between the PSI Directives and Competition law, so to establish what is encompassed by the directives and what should be judge under competition law, respectively. Thereafter some cases from different Member States will be reviewed and analysed. This is to show that there might be some disfunctionality in reference to the interplay between the legal systems. We therefore conclude with a policy suggestion that the competition authorities should try to establish when competition law is applicable to PSBs, generally, i.e. when an alleged commercial practise also is the PSB’s public task.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventLAPSI 2.0 Final Conference: Untangling the Issues Surrounding Open Data - Hogeschool Brussel s, Bruxelles, Belgium
Duration: 28 Nov 201428 Nov 2014


ConferenceLAPSI 2.0 Final Conference
LocationHogeschool Brussel s
Internet address

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