Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace
ICOMP, the Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace, is an industry initiative for business and organizations involved in internet commerce. Its overall objective is the sustainable growth of the Internet and key goals are to encourage competition, transparency, data privacy and respect for intellectual property protection as well as the adoption of best practices to promote online creativity, innovation, safety and trust.
As an organization concerned with the Internet, ICOMP brings together companies operating in the online marketplace across content, infrastructure and service sectors to identify and promote best practices. ICOMP helps to educate and inform stakeholders and decision-makers on how the online marketplace functions and the challenges being faces by those who operate within it.
Over 60 companies, trade associations and industry bodies are members of ICOMP and have endorsed ICOMP’s principles. These members represent 14 countries across Europe, North and South America, India, Australia and the Middle East. ICOMP is funded by member contributions as well as sponsorship from Microsoft; Burson-Marsteller acts as its Secretariat, and Lord Alan Watson is ICOMP’s Chairman.
ICOMP PrinciplesWe recognise the enormous challenge regulators face in deciding how best to apply existing rules to the complex, novel, and rapidly evolving online world. ICOMP has been created to assist regulators in this undertaking by identifying best practices, encouraging industry standards, and, where appropriate, commenting on industry trends, new services and other developments in our market.
Our work is guided by the following principles:
Advertisers, web publishers and consumers all rely on healthy competition in online advertising to fund online innovation and content. Online advertising will continue to serve as the engine that drives the online economy, but only if vibrant competition in this critical sector is preserved.
Regulators should carefully scrutinise any transactions in the online advertising sector that would create or enhance a dominant market position, significantly reduce existing or future competition, or leave advertisers, online publishers, or consumers with less genuine choice.
The Internet and e-commerce will reach their full potential only if consumers are informed of the ways in which information about them is used and are confident that their privacy will be respected online.
Regulators should ensure that the online collection and use of data about users, including their search and/or web surfing histories, comply with applicable laws and industry best practices, and provide users with adequate notice and informed choice.
Intellectual property rights foster creativity and innovation, including in the online environment, by enabling firms and individuals to enjoy the commercial fruits of their efforts.
All stakeholders should respect the rights of authors and publishers while encouraging investments in innovation and the emergence of legitimate, sustainable online business models. We urge regulators to scrutinise carefully industry practices and consolidation in online advertising, and to work with the undersigned and other interested parties to promote the development of a transparent, competitive, and sustainable online advertising sector.
Member DirectoryMore than 60 companies, trade associations, consumer organisations and individuals have endorsed ICOMP’s principles. Find them here.