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Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace (ICOMP)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace (ICOMP) is a Microsoft-sponsored lobbying organization for companies and organizations that engage in online business.

ICOMP has administrative offices and a policy council in London. The organization attempts to influence companies, regulatory bodies and other decision-makers through conferences, webinars, research studies, newsletters and blogs. ICOMP is funded by donations from over 70 members, which include various online advertising agencies,  publishing companies, ISPs (internet service providers) and network providers.

ICOMP's stated purpose is to promote legislation fostering competition in advertising, authoring and publishing as well as the regulation of collected user data. Despite these claimed goals, ICOMP has been criticized for its heavy focus on the activities of Google.

Google has accused ICOMP of anti-competitive behavior on behalf of Microsoft because of the organization's history of focusing attention on Google's anti-trust issues. ICOMP representatives have countered by saying this accusation is only intended to deflect attention from Google's own practices.

While Google has been criticized for many of its anti-competitive actions, ICOMP has been lambasted in The Telegraph and touted as an example of  "how not to lobby." The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and The Observer are among the other newspapers to have run stories about Microsoft's heavy influence on ICOMP.


This was last updated in April 2017

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