OFT appoints DotEcon to undertake research into the commercial use of public information

DotEcon has been appointed by the OFT to provide research in the context of the OFT’s current market study on the commercial use of public information. The study is expected to look at whether the way in which Public Sector Information Holders (PSIHs) supply information works well for businesses and consumers. It will examine whether PSIHs have an unfair advantage in selling on information in competition with companies who are reliant on the PSIH for that raw data in the first place. In particular, the OFT is looking into how raw data is turned into value-added information, how pricing of raw data and access to it affects competition, whether there are situations that benefit from vertical integration in the provision of value-added information and the effectiveness of existing guidance in relation to public sector information. As part of this investigation, the OFT has commissioned DotEcon (DE) to undertake a series of case studies on the behaviour of selected PSIHs. These studies will be drawn together to reach conclusions on whether improvements could be achieved in the operation of markets with PSIHs acting as suppliers, particularly in terms of spreading best practice amongst PSIHs and ensuring effective guidance.

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