When competition law met data protection: the Bundeskartellamt’s Facebook decision

When competition law met data protection: the Bundeskartellamt’s Facebook decision

On February 6th, the German Competition Authority (Bundeskartellamt or BKA) adopted its long-awaited Facebook decision, imposing far-reaching restrictions on how the social network can collect and process user data. This decision follows a preliminary assessment that the BKA published in December 2017, which this blog discussed at length. The BKA’s decision—as set out in a case summary and background paper—sticks […]

It’s raining Amazon probes: the Bundeskartellamt joins the Commission in investigating the tech giant’s marketplace practices

It’s raining Amazon probes: the Bundeskartellamt joins the Commission in investigating the tech giant’s marketplace practices

The investigation On 29 November 2018, the German competition authority (Bundeskartellamt) announced an investigation into Amazon’s business terms and practices on its German marketplace. The Bundeskartellamt’s president commented: Amazon is the largest online retailer and operates by far the largest online marketplace in Germany. Many retailers and manufacturers depend on the reach of Amazon’s marketplace for their online sales. Amazon […]

The Commission’s Amazon probe: overcoming the antitrust paradox

The Commission’s Amazon probe: overcoming the antitrust paradox

In a press conference on September 19th, EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager announced a preliminary investigation into Amazon. At the heart of the potentially abusive conduct is Amazon’s ‘dual role’. One the one hand, Amazon offers a marketplace for third-party sellers to offer their products to consumers. On the other hand, Amazon offers its own products through its marketplace. […]

The United States considers boarding the tech regulation train

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 […]

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

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, […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

Innovation in EU merger control

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 […]

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

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 […]