Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Competition implications of the introduction of digital technologies

The European Commission, DG IV, has published an invitation to tender for the provision of services relating to the assessment of the competition implications, in media and multimedia markets, of the introduction of digital technologies.

The services to be provided are divided into two lots:

- A. A technical assessment of the competition implications of the technical specifications of digital set-top-boxes;
- B. The provision of technical, legal and/or economic assistance in the assessment of the impact of digital technologies on media and multimedia markets.

The first lot requires expertise in the fields of digital set-top-boxes, digital broadcasting technologies and digital conditional access systems. It will primarily involve an assessment of the reception equipment, other than television sets, used to allow display of, and interaction with, digital services and of the technical specifications necessary to allow this.

In particular, this would require a comprehensive description of the various elements included in digital set-top-boxes and their purpose. It will also require an in-depth analysis of the implications of the technical specifications of the digital set-top-box for its manufacture, incorporation into reception/display equipment, and use by broadcasters other than the operator of the conditional access system for the use for which the box has been commissioned.

The second lot requires legal and/or economic expertise in the field of competition law and preferably also in the media sector. It will involve the provision of legal and/or economic technical assistance in the assessment of the competition implications of the introduction of digital technologies in the media and multimedia sectors and, in particular, digital set-top-boxes, for the Commission's policy and practice regarding the handling of cases under Articles 85 and 86 of the EC Treaty.

The first lot will mainly be carried out on the contractor's premises but shall involve constant feed-back with the relevant Commission services. The second lot must be provided by an in-house expert who will be required to work in Brussels, in DG IV's Media Unit. Tenders may be submitted for both lots or for either separately.

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