The European Commission has given the all-clear to the bank-backed Identrus PKI scheme, certifying that it won’t restrict competition within the European Union.
The decision "illustrates the importance the Commission attaches to the development of competitive e-commerce-related markets" and its belief that global digital certification services over open networks "are fundamental for the success of e-commerce in Europe," according to the Commission. The EU regulators ruled that the Identrus structure ensures that "no single company will have control over Identrus" and noted that the scheme entails no foreclosure risk.
The Identrus system enables trading partners to authenticate their identities online through their financial institutions. Identrus member financial institutions act as individual and competing Certificate Authorities to confirm trading partner identities and validate digital signatures.
The multi-bank consortium welcomed the Commission's decision, describing it as "an important milestone" in the development of the system.