U.S. antitrust agencies divide jurisdiction over Big Tech and single out Google for investigation

U.S. antitrust agencies divide jurisdiction over Big Tech and single out Google for investigation

Last year, I wrote about how the United States considers boarding the tech regulation train that has been racing through Europe. It seems that they have now taken another decisive step in that direction: the U.S. antitrust agencies have agreed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will oversee investigations of Google and Apple, while the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is […]

Spotify lodges antitrust complaint against Apple: it’s ‘time to play fair’ in the music streaming industry

Spotify lodges antitrust complaint against Apple: it’s ‘time to play fair’ in the music streaming industry

On March 13th, Spotify filed a formal antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC). In the complaint, Spotify alleges that Apple has been using its App Store to impede Spotify’s competitive potential to the advantage of Apple Music—its biggest competitor in the music streaming business. In what follows, I quickly examine the contentious history between Spotify and Apple […]

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 […]