Amazon cases on the move: Bundeskartellamt closes proceedings while European Commission opens formal investigation

Amazon cases on the move: Bundeskartellamt closes proceedings while European Commission opens formal investigation

The 17th of July has been quite the day for Amazon, at least when it comes to antitrust. Firstly, the German Competition Authority (Bundeskartellamt) has closed its abuse of dominance proceedings against Amazon in return for concessions from the online marketplace. Secondly, the European Commission announced that it was opening a formal investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct by Amazon. This […]

Audit and consulting services sector to face ‘unbundling’ by competition laws?

Audit and consulting services sector to face ‘unbundling’ by competition laws?

Lately in Europe, international accounting and consulting firms have been facing a number of legal issues due to infringements of audit, finance and competition laws. After a market study, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published proposals for improvements in the auditing sector; among them, legislative amendments to split up auditing from consulting services. This ‘unbundling’ of activities […]

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 […]

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 […]

Collusive conduct in financial instruments trading: a look at the issues of dealing via chatrooms

Collusive conduct in financial instruments trading: a look at the issues of dealing via chatrooms

Following the benchmark currency rate manipulation scandal, the banking sector has had no chance to restore their reputation. Lately, major EU banks have been having competition law issues because of their traders’ collusive behaviour in the bond and global foreign exchange (FX) markets. Two Statements of Objections concerning bond cartels and collusive conduct by certain traders have been issued recently […]

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 […]

Are settlement proceedings the poor relation of EU antitrust policy?

Are settlement proceedings the poor relation of EU antitrust policy?

Leniency and settlement policies are crucial antitrust enforcement tools. They reward defendants’ cooperation and seek to reinforce effectiveness in law enforcement by replacing a non-cooperative equilibrium with a more cooperative dynamic between defendants and competition enforcers. As recently acknowledged by the OECD, settlements are picking up, and becoming an essential aspect of antitrust enforcement. Accordingly, a significant challenge of every […]

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 […]

The principle of personal liability in the context of private enforcement: is there anything new under the sun?

The principle of personal liability in the context of private enforcement: is there anything new under the sun?

On March 14th, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a ruling on a private enforcement case and lifted the veil of some of the unsettled and non-harmonised issues the Damages Directive failed to tackle. They can be shortly summarised in the following questions: who should be liable for antitrust damages and how can such liability be […]

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 […]