Standards setting organizations (SSOs) address this tension in a variety of ways. Nearly all SSOs adopt rules that are designed to ensure that standards development processes are fair and that participants can’t use these processes to achieve illegitimate ends. Some also adopt formal competition law policies. The substance of these policies varies widely: some are lengthy explanations of competition law generally; some offer a detailed list of "dos and don’ts" that try to identify well-understood safe behavior and avoid any uncertainties; some simply convey that the SSO policy is to comply with applicable law. Some SSOs require a recitation of a competition law compliance statement in advance of every meeting — although the content of these statements varies among different SSOs. Some provide regular training about competition law matters to their participants.
IETF processes and procedures are particularly well-suited to mitigate competition law risks. IETF participation is free and open to all interested individuals. Participants engage in their individual capacity, not as company representatives. A wide range of perspectives is represented, reflecting interests from multiple industry sectors, academia, government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), from around the globe. IETF procedural rules, which include robust appeal options, are well-documented in public materials, and rigorously followed. IETF activities are conducted with extreme transparency, in public forums. Decision-making requires achieving broad consensus via these public processes. IETF’s disclosure-focused intellectual property rights policies carefully and transparently balance the interests of standards contributors and standards adopters. Fundamentally, “IETF participants use their best engineering judgment to find the best solution for the whole Internet, not just the best solution for any particular network, technology, vendor, or user.”[RFC 7154]