Data Science Center Tilburg header image

Data Science Center Tilburg

Discussion paper: Of coffee pods, videogames, and missed interoperability

The Internet of Things raises the need for an interoperability that goes beyond mere interconnection between digital objects, and requires manufacturers to be able to access and 'mine' each other's data.

Observing that collaboration in existing Internet of Things consortia comes short of this deeper level of integration, Tilburg University's Nicolo Zingales calls on the European Commission to develop guidelines that facilitate broader cooperation, for example by adopting model licenses and best practices; and to address the interaction between competition and standardization involving intellectual property other than patents.

In the TILEC discussion paper 'Of Coffee Pods, Videogames, and Missed Interoperability: Reflections for EU Governance of the Internet of Things', Zingales also illustrates with two examples that lock-in strategies pursued by leading platforms by preventing interoperability in secondary markets (specifically, coffee pods and console video games) resulted of dubious advantage, generating consumer dissatisfaction, requiring significant legal expenses and attracting antitrust scrutiny.

The paper is available on