The return of the MFN clauses – platform ranking as an enforcement mechanism for price parity

The return of the MFN clauses – platform ranking as an enforcement mechanism for price parity

The MFN cases of the past few years have delivered a series of uncoordinated cases that created a fragmented approach towards MFN clauses. Nowadays it would appear that there is a growing consensus in Europe that wide MFN clauses should be prohibited which, also led major platform like Expedia to abandon these pricing strategies. The recent claim put forward by […]

App stores and (potential) abuses of dominance – an opportunity to reshape competition law enforcement in digital markets

App stores and (potential) abuses of dominance – an opportunity to reshape competition law enforcement in digital markets

During the past few weeks the number of complaints against Apple’s practices concerning the App Store has not gone unnoticed. While previous complaints by unhappy developers were perceived as isolated cases it would seem that now the flood gates have been opened, and the stream is primarily targeting Apple. In Europe, this development has been given quite some media coverage […]

Business users vs. platforms – a (not entirely) new battle frontier

Business users vs. platforms – a (not entirely) new battle frontier

The recent complaint of Spotify against Apple is yet another case concerning the contractual relationship between online platforms and their business users that appear to arise quite often these days. In the context of these cases the business users of online platforms claim to be subject to undesired practices such discriminatory treatment and unreasonable pricing. The essence of most of […]

Abuse of dominance through data overcharges and EU competition law enforcement

Abuse of dominance through data overcharges and EU competition law enforcement

The past year the EU commission and numerous competition authorities have addressed the matter of applying competition law to online platforms. The discussions concerning Facebook and Amazon have even touched upon the difficult relation between data and competition law. Despite the many debates concerning the application of competition law in digital markets, little attestation was given to the calculation of […]

Apple’s App Store commission fee and (anti-competitive) governance: when a platform’s zero-pricing strategy becomes expensive

Apple’s App Store commission fee and (anti-competitive) governance: when a platform’s zero-pricing strategy becomes expensive

These days Apple is at the Supreme Court trying to defend its pricing scheme for the App Store, which is currently under fire for being potentially abusive with respect consumers that end up paying perhaps quite a bit more for their apps than they should. Although it is uncertain whether the claimants will be allowed to proceed with the claim, […]

Market definition for two-(or multi) sided platforms – demand interdependence and substitution as guiding principles

Market definition for two-(or multi) sided platforms – demand interdependence and substitution as guiding principles

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

When Algorithmic Pricing meets Concerted Practices- the case of Partneo

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 […]