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 […]

Claims for compensation for damages caused by anticompetitive conduct: jurisdiction questions

Claims for compensation for damages caused by anticompetitive conduct: jurisdiction questions

Recently the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU or the Court) issued the preliminary ruling on application of Brussels I Regulation in competition damages actions. The ruling provides guidance on the application and interpretation of special jurisdiction clauses, with a focus on Art 5(3) of the Brussels I Regulation. One of the main aspects of the ruling […]

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, […]

The Karstadt – Kaufhof merger decided

The Karstadt – Kaufhof merger decided

The Bundeskartellamt started investigations into the merger between big retail store chains Karstadt and Kaufhof just in October and announced the investigations were expected to be complicated and long. Given the parties’ arguments in favour of the merger as counter-measure to pressures from online retail, we suspected here that this merger might turn out the perfect opportunity for the authority […]

The Karstadt – Kaufhof merger

The Karstadt – Kaufhof merger

The two big department store chains’ plans to merge have gone through quite a bit of up-and-down over the summer. The potential merger had been criticised for several reasons, such as job losses or pay cuts for employees. While it first seemed that the merger would fall through, mainly because of financial issues the Kaufhof owner, Hudson’s Bay Company, experienced, […]

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. […]

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 […]