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RTR Telecommunications and Postal Services and BWB stepping up digital cooperation

Development of a monitoring system for digital platforms

Digitalisation offers many opportunities, but poses many challenges too. Algorithms and artificial intelligence are already being used in many areas, and are fundamentally changing the mechanisms of the markets. The Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR), specifically its Telecommunications and Postal Services Division, and the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (BWB) have joined forces to tackle the challenges of these new developments together.

BWB’s expertise for RTR’s monitoring system

The RTR is currently developing a monitoring system for digital platforms, the aim of which is to cover the most important digital communications platforms used in Austria as well as platforms that greatly influence how the internet is being used generally, and then subjects them to an assessment as to their impact on competition. Such platforms include voice and messaging apps, voice assistants, operating systems and app stores or browsers. The Telecommunications and Postal Services Division of RTR and BWB will set up a joint task force as part of this monitoring system and work together closely on competition issues.

“We greatly welcome this step of setting up a joint task force. It is an important step forward for our two authorities to find solutions for new market structures, and also allows us to harness synergies. Disruptive technologies require rapid action, and uniform solutions for the markets. One of the things we will work on specifically is how to deal with data in terms of competition,” explains Theodor Thanner, Director General of the BWB.

“We have agreed, for example, to regularly exchange experiences, to work together on digitalisation issues and find common positions, to safeguard national and international developments, and to organise events dedicated to relevant topics. We are glad that we have succeeded in following the example of other countries and joining forces to the benefit of the general public and to ensure a level playing field for all,” remarks Klaus M. Steinmaurer, RTR Managing Director of the Telecommunications and Postal Services Division.