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Demand interdependency and substitution– the guiding principles for cases concerning market definitions for two-or multi sided platforms

The past year has led to a lot of discussion on the relation between competition law and (online) platforms and a lot of disagreement on how competition law should apply in such cases as displayed by comments on the major cases of Amex and Google. Unsurprisingly, one of the most contentious aspects of these cases was the market definition. It […]

New momentum for abandoning the 50+1 rule of the German Bundesliga?

Have you recovered from the World Cup yet? Whether or not, it is now time to focus on the national football leagues again and support the football club of your choice (for better or worse). With regard to the German Bundesliga, the old issue of club-ownership has come back into focus over the summer when the Deutsche Fußball Liga (‘DFL’ […]

The United States considers boarding the tech regulation train

On August 24th, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the opening session of its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. Starting in September, these hearings will ‘examine whether broad-based changes in the economy […] require adjustments to competition and consumer protection enforcement priorities of the Commission’. A focus on new technologies is readily apparent, as […]

Cartel deterrence through cartel enforcement – a discussion of recent research

With the buzz surrounding the EU Commission’s recent Android decision (read about our take on it here) still very much ongoing, we will turn our focus to something a little different this week. This post discusses a recently published article ‘Does enforcement deter cartels? A tale of two tails’ by Iwan Bos, Stephen Davies, Joseph E. Harrington Jr, and Peter […]

Price monitoring software and competition – new possibilities for RPM in absence of sufficient deterrence

Shortly after the dropping the A-bomb on Google for its alleged tying practices, the Commission imposed fines of over €111 million on Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer for fixing the minimum resale prices of their online retailers. This recent case shows that the Commission is serious about taking on competition law infringements in the online sphere, however, it […]

2018-60 Deutsche Bahn and Others v Commission

Court Court of Justice Date of ruling 1 February 2018 Case name (short version) Deutsche Bahn and Others v Commission Case Citation C-264/16 P ECLI:EU:C:2018:60 Key words Appeal — Competition — Agreements, decisions and concerted practices — Article 101 TFEU — Price fixing — International air freight forwarding services — Pricing agreement affecting the final price of the services Basic context By their appeal, Deutsche Bahn AG, Schenker […]

The Commission’s Android decision: Google cements its dominance in search… to the benefit of consumers?

Last week’s Commission decision on Google’s Android operating system made for great headlines. On top of the eye-watering fine of €4.3 billion, it even had the dubious honour of eliciting a presidential tweet. It was the kind of decision that sparked extensive papers long before its adoption, and a barrage of commentary immediately afterwards. Now that the dust has settled, […]

Tales of two-sided markets, market definitions and anti-competitive effects – insights from Ohio v. American Express

  The case of Ohio v. Amex is the final phase of a long legal battle that started back in 2010 where Amex was accused of infringing section 1 of the Sherman Act for imposing its anti-steering provisions on merchants accepting Amex. While not delivering on all fronts, the case of Amex is an important one in the context of […]

Now available – Issue 2/2018 of the European Competition and Regulatory Law Review (CoRe)!

Scope of Antitrust and Assessment of the EU Regulatory Framework In the articles section of our new issue CoRe 2/2018 you will find a comparative analysis of the scope of antitrust law in South Korea, EU and US, a comprehensive assessment of the EU regulatory framework for access to the postal network and a critical view of the EU’s approach […]

Webtaxi: The Luxembourg Competition Authority exempts an algorithmic price-fixing arrangement on efficiency grounds

With the increasing digitalization of economy, algorithms are more and more often relied on by businesses in their economic activities for many purposes including setting prices. Competition authorities have concerns that the use of algorithmic pricing may result in undertakings coordinating their pricing policies to the detriment of competition (see here, here and here). The decision recently handed down by […]

The German cement cartel – a landmark decision for private damages actions

The German cement cartel has been occupying German courts of all levels for some time. From the feasibility of the assignment of claims to a third party (see here), or a reduction of fines by nearly 50% by the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf (OLG Düsseldorf; in German see here) to the recent decision of the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof […]

The AT&T-Time Warner decision and its implications for vertical merger enforcement in the U.S.

Last week’s big antitrust news came from the other side of the Atlantic. On June 12th, judge Leon from the District Court of Columbia gave the AT&T-Time Warner (TW) merger the go-ahead by rejecting the government’s case against it. The proceedings leading up to the decision were contentious, as the judge stressed in the opening paragraph of his opinion: If […]

When Algorithmic Pricing meets Concerted Practices- the case of Partneo

Algorithmic collusion, algorithmic cartels, AI price fixing cartels and many other pseudo computer science themes have become a source of great interest for competition law authorities, practitioners and academics. The allure of these topics is understandable; the idea that cartels can come into existence without human intervention is a fascinating matter despite the fact that fully automated (not to mention […]

The Commission’s Gazprom decision – an environmentally relevant demonstration of the Commission’s power

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is making a name for herself as the Commissioner who really takes on the ‘big whales’ of international corporations and holds them accountable to EU competition law. After the Commission took on international tech giants like Google and Facebook under Vestager’s stewardship, the Russian energy giant Gazprom has now been added as the latest feather in […]

The Commission proposes a Regulation on platform-to-business trading practices

On 26 April 2018, the European Commission adopted its Proposal for a Regulation ‘on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services’. In short, the proposal seeks to regulate the relation between platforms and businesses by imposing a number of transparency obligations on the former. In this blog post, I will take a closer look at the […]

Online platforms and refusal to deal – Unlockd vs. Google- a seminal case in the making?

The recent standoff between advertisement application developer Unlockd and Google, concerning the removal of Unlockd from the Google Play Store and AdMob marketplace, may turn out to be one of the most important competition law cases of the year. This case, which will likely require a competition law review of Google’s terms and conditions for these platforms, provides the opportunity […]

New Commission proposal for more whistleblower protection: more of the same for competition law?

In a press release of 23 April 2018, the EU Commission announced the proposal of a new Directive that is set to introduce new, EU-wide rules for the better protection of whistleblowers. The press release underlines the importance of whistleblowers in uncovering breaches of EU law, as demonstrated by recent scandals, such as Dieselgate, Panama Papers, or Cambridge Analytica. Without […]

Protecting David against Goliath: Commission’s Proposal against Unfair Trading Practices in the Food Supply Chain

In response to concerns over so-called unfair trading practices (UTPs) between businesses arising from significant imbalances of economic power, the European Commission has for years devoted much attention to the functioning of the food supply chain. Despite these efforts, actual enforcement actions and legislative developments unfolded predominantly on the Member State level. On April 12, however, the Commission may have […]

Price discrimination and abuse of dominance – MEO Case C-525/16

The recent case of MEO delivers a meaningful clarification concerning the importance of an effects analysis in the case of art. 102 (c) TFEU. While not providing an ultimate solution for all comparable future cases, the CJEU in this case clearly indicates that term ‘competitive disadvantage’ constitutes an independent element of art. 102 (c) TFEU that requires proof. Background to […]

Innovation in EU merger control

The Commission’s assessment of the effects of mergers on innovation has fascinated scholars and practitioners for the last two years or so. On 12 April 2018, the Commission’s Deputy Director General for Mergers Carles Esteva Mosso comprehensively addressed the issue at the Spring Meeting of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law. This blogpost traces earlier developments and gleans new insights […]

Fines and files – news of the German sausage cartel

The German ‘sausage cartel’ has truly turned into the gift that keeps on giving. However, while so far the gifts given were, with only one setback, rather in favour of the Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office) with high fines totalling EUR 338.5 million being imposed on members of the cartel, the latest developments seem like a welcome gift for the sausage […]

Latest Issue of the European Competition and Regulatory Law Review is out now!

Digital Economy and EU Competition Rules The CoRe Editorial Team is delighted to announce that issue 1/2018 of the European Competition and Regulatory Law Review (CoRe) is out now. The digital economy and its interplay with EU competition rules take centre stage in the Articles section of this edition. Read more about: the 2017 Facebook investigations in the EU by competition, […]

Announcement of Winner of CoRe Blog Competition

The CoRe Blog Team Congratulates Alexandru Sotropa To mark the occasion of our CoRe Blog Launch in March, we ran a social media competition offering the price of a special subscription to the quarterly journal CoRe – European Competition and Regulatory Law Review worth €205. We are delighted to announce the winner today: Alexandru Sotropa. Enjoy reading your free copies […]

Online platforms and abuse of dominance – the case of Funda Real Estate

The application of EU competition law to online platforms has been subject to much debate in the course of the past two years. The EU Commission and several national competition law authorities have launched multiple studies in order to identify the possible challenges in this context and establish an action plan. The distinguishing characteristics of online platforms including: the reliance […]

Vestager Picks CoRe Board Member for Special Adviser

Prof Heike Schweitzer Will Advise Commissioner on Future Challenges of Digitisation for Competition The European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager gets top reinforcement in exploring how digitalisation is affecting the European market and how competition policy should respond to it. Last week she announced the appointment of the three Special Advisors – exceptional European experts in law, economics and technology […]

When the industry strikes back- UPS claims 1.7 billion Euro for the blocked merger with TNT

The recent fines imposed by the Commission on companies have made headlines quite a few times since the beginning of 2018. This growing press coverage is undeniably linked to size of the fines as well as the parties on whom these were imposed. However while the Commission was busy fining companies for their anticompetitive behavior, United Parcel Services (UPS) decided […]

2017-756 – KPN BV v European Commission

Court General Court Date of ruling 26 October 2017 Case name (short version) KPN BV v European Commission Case Citation T-394/15 P ECLI:EU:T:2017:756 Key words Competition — Concentrations — Netherlands market for television services and telecommunications services — Decision declaring the concentration compatible with the internal market and the EEA Agreement — Commitments — Duty to state reasons — Relevant […]

2017-47 Report – Hansa metallwerke AG and Others v European Commission

Court Court of Justice Date of ruling 26 January 2017 Case name (short version) Hansa Metallwerke AG and Others v European Commission Case Citation Case C-611/13 P ECLI:EU:C:2017:47 Key words Appeal — Competition — Agreements, decisions and concerted practices — Bathroom fittings and fixtures markets of Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria — Coordination of selling prices and […]

2017-716 Report – Ferriere Nord Spa v European Commission

Court Court of Justice Date of ruling 3 November 2017 Case name (short version) Ferriere Nord SpA v European Commission Case Citation Case C-88/15 P ECLI:EU:C:2017:716 Key words Appeal — Agreements, decisions and concerted practices — Italian producers of reinforcing bars — Fixing of prices and limiting and controlling output and sales — Infringement of Article 65 CS — Annulment of the […]

2017-713 Report – Riva Fire v Commission

  Court Court of Justice  Date of ruling  21 September 2017 Case name (short version) Riva Fire v Commission  Case citation Case C-89/15 P ECLI:EU:C:2017:713  Key words  Appeal — Agreements, decisions and concerted practices — Italian producers of reinforcing bars — Fixing of prices and limiting and controlling output and sales — Infringement of Article 65 CS — Annulment of the initial decision by the General […]

The Uber-Grab merger and the potentially anti-competitive consequences of the battle for ride-hailing dominance

On March 26th, news broke that ride-hailing giant Uber agreed to sell its Southeast Asian operations to its local competitor Grab. The move may sound familiar, as Uber previously retreated from the Chinese market by selling its operations to Didi Chuxing. From a competition law perspective, these acquisitions raise questions of both merger control and restrictive agreements, which are explored […]

The EU Commission’s Qualcomm decision – does it take two to tango?

In its latest strike against anti-competitive behaviour in the tech industry, the EU Commission has fined the US chipset manufacturer Qualcomm over 997 million Euros for imposing an exclusive purchasing obligation on one of its major customers and preventing competitors’ access to the market for baseband chipsets. This blogpost gives a brief overview of the decision based on the Commission’s […]

Can consumers pay too much when they pay nothing? The Bundeskartellamt’s Facebook case

Can consumers pay too much when they pay nothing? The question might seem absurd, but a recent investigation by the Bundeskartellamt raises the question: it is accusing Facebook, which offers its services for free, of an infringement that looks a lot like excessive pricing. In this blog post, I unpack the Facebook case by explaining the social network’s business model, […]

The first judgement of 2018: Hoffman-La Roche v AGCM (Case C- 179/16) – a remarkable case for its unremarkable implications

It goes without saying that the name Hoffmann La-Roche serves as an indispensable reference case for most competition lawyers, making it a great case for the launch of a new competition law blog! Although this recent Hoffmann La-Roche case is not likely to become as unmissable a reference point as the ‘original’ Hoffman La-Roche case, it is nevertheless noteworthy. The […]

DICE Director Justus Haucap: “Consumers Paying with Data” Is a Bad Analogy

Interview at the Sidelines of CoRe’s Competition Law Conference ‘Does Competition Law Need an Update for Online Markets?’ In November 2017, the European Competition and Regulatory Law Review (CoRe), together with the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) hosted the competition law conference ‘Does Competition Law Need an Update for Online Markets? – Hot […]

2017-679 Report – LG Electronics v Commission

Court Court of Justice Date of ruling 14 September 2017 Case name (short version) LG Electronics v Commission Case Citation C-588/15 ECLI:EU:C:2017:679 Key words Appeal — Agreements, decisions and concerted practices — Global market for cathode ray tubes for television sets and computer monitors — Agreements and concerted practices relating to prices, markets sharing, customer allocation and production limitation — […]

2017-597 Report – Persidera SpA v Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni

Court Court of Justice Date of ruling 26 July 2017 Case name (short version) Persidera SpA v Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni & Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti Case Citation Case C-112/16 P ECLI:EU:C:2017:597 Key words Reference for a preliminary ruling — Electronic communications — Telecommunication services — Directives 2002/20/EC, 2002/21/EC and 2002/77/EC — Equal […]

2017-520 Report – Toshiba Corporation v European Commission

Court Court of Justice Date of ruling 6 July 2017 Case name (short version) Toshiba Corporation v European Commission Case Citation Case C-180/16 P ECLI:EU:C:2017:520 Key words Appeal — Competition — Agreements, decisions and concerted practices — Market in gas insulated switchgear projects — Decision taken by the European Commission following annulment in part of the initial decision by the […]

2017-314 Report – Akzo Nobel and Others v Commission

Court Court of Justice Date of ruling 27 April 2017 Case name (short version) Akzo Nobel and Others v Commission Case Citation Case C-516/15 P ECLI:EU:C:2017:314 Key words Appeal —Agreements, decisions and concerted practices — European markets in tin stabilisers and in ESBO/esters heat stabilisers — Price fixing, market allocation and exchange of commercially sensitive information — Whether the unlawful conduct of the subsidiaries may […]

2017-190 report – Samsung SID Co. Ltd and Samsung SDI (Malaysia) Bhd v European Commission

Court Court of Justice Date of ruling 9 March 2017 Case name (short version) Samsung SDI Co. Ltd and Samsung SDI (Malaysia) Bhd v European Commission Case Citation C-615/15 P ECLI:EU:C:2017:190 Key words Appeal — Agreements, decisions and concerted practices — Global market for cathode ray tubes for television sets and computer monitors — Agreements and concerted practices on pricing, […]

Calendar year 2017

  Calendar year 2017 Systematic classification scheme Court of Justice General Court Modern reference system used[1] 1.01.02.00 General principles of law 679 1.01.02.01 Principle of equality and non-discrimination 520, 679 1.04.03.21 Non-discrimination 190 1.04.03.41 Right to good administration 679 3.04.02 Jurisdiction of the Court of Justice 597 3.10.06 Pleas in law 314, 520 4.08.00.06 Definition of undertaking 314, 679 4.08.01.01.01 […]
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