تجزیه و تحلیل اقتصادی از رقابت استانداردها : به عنوان مثال از استانداردهای ISO ODF و OOXML
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|28887||2011||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6302 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Telecommunications Policy, Volume 35, Issue 4, May 2011, Pages 373–381
The objective of this paper is to analyze economic efficiency considerations of standards competition, in order to thereby enrich the discussion about the transfer of the ECMA-376-1 (Office Open XML – OOXML) standard into the ISO/IEC 29500:2008 standard parallel to the already existing ISO/IEC 26300:2006 (Open Document Format for Office Applications – ODF) standard. Based on the available economic literature we identify parameters that need to be considered in the decision for or against a competition between competing standards. The characteristics in the specific case of competition between the ODF and the OOOXML standard clearly justify the decision for two documents standards.
During the last decade, the landscape in standardization has changed and diversified especially in the area of information and communication technologies (ICT). A huge number of consortia and industry fora have entered the ICT standards setting arena (Blind & Gauch, 2008). As a result, today's companies face an almost impenetrable web of standardization organizations with complex inter-relations. Each of these bodies has its own membership, works within its own environment, and has defined its own set of rules. The resulting fragmentation, together with the considerable overlap of the activities of individual standardization organizations, means that interoperability and compatibility between standards from different sources cannot necessarily be assumed. Accordingly, improving coordination in ICT standards setting has become a major issue. Here, it is focused on a specific case for coordination. The starting position for the analysis of this case is that ECMA (the former European Computer Manufacturer's Association and since 1994 the European Association for Standardizing Information and Communication Systems) proposed that an ECMA standard should be transferred into an official standard to be published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In particular, the ECMA-376-1 OOXML, an XML-based document file format developed by Microsoft that supports document storage and exchange between office applications, should be approved as an official ISO standard (ISO/IEC 29500:2008). However, this standard was to be published in addition to an open document format (ODF) standard, which was already specified in its version 1.0 by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) and adopted by ISO as ISO/IEC 26300:2006 a few years earlier.1 While there was a broad consensus for this proposal within ECMA, some ISO members had expressed serious reservations. The objective of this paper is to analyze some of the fundamental economic efficiency considerations of parallel standards, in order to enrich the discussion with fundamental aspects and arguments rather than specific technical ones. The following questions are central to the analysis: (1) How can multiple parallel existing standards within the same technological area be fundamentally evaluated in terms of theoretical static efficiency and with respect to their dynamic effect on innovation and competition? (2) How can these effects be evaluated, in particular in the area of standardization of open document formats? The results of the analysis will primarily help policy makers and standardization organizations to decide whether to stop, extend or even enforce standards competition. Secondly, the new insights could motivate companies involved in standards competition to adapt their standardization strategies and tactics. Thirdly, the outcome of this analysis could help users interested in implementing a new standard and confronted with the problem of deciding for one and against another standard regarding the timing of their decisions. Since there is some confusion regarding the term standard, also caused by the increasing diversity, the applied terminology has to be defined. A standard represents an agreement in respect of the standardization of products, procedures or practices. Standards are published by formal standards organizations based on a strict consensus process. These formal standards organizations now also publish so-called specifications, which are not developed by consensus. Research now focuses on the difference between formal, industry or consortia and company specific de facto standardization (see Blind, Gauch, & Hawkins (2010) for the differences of their perceived economic impacts) . In this paper, the term standard will be used because the development process is of secondary importance for the performed general economic analysis. The remainder of the paper has the following structure. Section 2 introduces a list of parameters for an economic analysis of competing standards. In Section 3, this analytic framework will be applied to the situation in 2007, when the transfer of the ECMA-376-1 OOOXML standard to the Fast Track Process at ISO was intensively discussed. Section 4 gives a concluding assessment.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
4. Conclusions The results from the qualitative economic efficiency analysis have shown that there is no definite reason to end the standards competition between the ODF and the OOXML standard under the roof of ISO, which has meanwhile been decided. There are already many configurations in which formal standards compete with more or less informal consortia standards. The affected document standards are, however, also very heavily implemented in the public sector and it should be noted that currently in public procurement only formal standards are referenced and consortia standards are not used as a reference. However, in order to promote a fierce standards competition and to prevent frictions between situations in the public and private sectors, equal treatment of two competing ISO standards can be justified also from an economic perspective. The transfer from an ECMA to an ISO standard requires that it is assured that necessary intellectual property rights, especially copyrights, and technical information for the implementation of the OOXML standard will be available. If this is not the case, significant efficiency losses could occur as a result, since there would be no competition among the more medium-size oriented companies in downstream markets, which draw on the OOXML standard, and as a result Microsoft could gain market dominance. However, in the entire efficiency analysis, competition in the downstream markets is assumed. Due to possible market dominance in the downstream markets based on the OOXML standard, the competition would ultimately also be affected in the market segment based on the ODF standard. This would result in further efficiency losses. The mentioned requirements regarding the availability of user rights are assured in the case of the OOXML standard on various levels. Via the standardization within ECMA the OOXML standards must conform to the IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) rules of ECMA. An ISO 29500 (OOXML) standard must comply with ISO's IPR policy. Furthermore, Microsoft has committed itself regarding the Intellectual Property Rights to the Open Specification Promise (OSP) 14 as well as to a covenant not to sue.15 In addition, Microsoft is going to make the specification of the historic binary formats available to its partners and competitors via a royalty free license.16 Finally, the collaboration of important competitors, like Novell, in the standardization process within ECMA as well as the already realized implementation of the OOXML standard by competitors confirm that the above-mentioned requirements regarding user rights and technical information seem to be fulfilled. Furthermore, ECMA has ensured that the OOXML standard is extensively documented compared to its original version. Further improvements have been made during the various phases of the fast-track procedure within ISO, but also in the still pending proposed amendments. Fundamentally, the acceptance of the parallel OOXML standard as an ISO standard is an efficient strategy to further integrate formal and consortia standards and to keep the standards competition under one institutional roof, the ISO. This strategy also allows reference to former consortia standards in public procurement processes and technical regulations. Furthermore, small and medium enterprises can be involved more effectively and efficiently in formal standardization processes than in most standardization consortia. Moreover, the idea of a standards competition within the formal standardization organizations should be pursued, since the considerations presented show that significant efficiency gains can be realized in dynamic contexts. Finally it must be noted that formal standardization processes should not be misused by competing companies as an instrument of their competition. Technically and economically superior solutions should be chosen in standardization and the implementation should respect the agreed regulations on intellectual property, with the standard being withdrawn in the case of non-compliance. Standardization solutions should not, however, be rejected because a competition policy problem could potentially occur at a later time. The competition authorities are ultimately responsible for the solution to these downstream problems, not the standardization organizations.