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Competition Law

Analysis - debate - current awareness

01 MAR 2012

Proceedings against MathWorks to investigate a potential breach of Article 102

On 1 March, the European Commission announced the opening of proceedings against MathWorks to determine whether the latter breached competition rules that prohibit the abuse of a dominant position in the market for the design of commercial control systems by allegedly preventing competitors from achieving interoperability with its products. The opening of the proceedings means that the Commission will examine the case as a matter of priority.

The case was opened following a complaint that MathWorks had refused to provide a competitor with end-user software licences and accompanying interoperability information for its 'Simulink' and 'MATLAB' products, thereby preventing the competitor from achieving interoperability with those products.

Software interoperability is encouraged under European Directive 2009/24/EC on the legal protection of computer programmes (2009) OJ L 111/16, which allows reverse-engineering for interoperability purposes provided the software in question was lawfully acquired. The issue of software interoperability was also examined in a previous case against Microsoft.

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