In a recent interview published in the ABA’s Perspectives in Antitrust, Brattle economists Michelle Cleary and Lisa Cameron discussed interoperability, disruption, and antitrust with Professor Joshua Gans, Brattle Academic Advisor and Professor of Strategic Management and the Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
Interoperability is the capacity for new technologies or products to work with older ones. Although interoperability can be convenient for consumers, companies may resist providing it because of the expense involved. But the lack of interoperability can sometimes impede competition.
Similarly, although the conventional wisdom in the business world is that revolutionary innovations can undercut or even destroy incumbent players in an industry, such disruption is far from inevitable. For example, incumbent firms sometimes attempt to counter the competitive threat posed by disruptive technologies through acquisitions.
Professor Gans explains these concepts with the aid of detailed examples and explains the possible role of antitrust authorities in each setting. The full publication can be downloaded below.