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 […]

Minority acquisition headed for first prohibition in Norway

Minority acquisition headed for first prohibition in Norway

By Marianne Henne Møller and Simen Klevstrand, Haavind (Norway) The Norwegian Competition Authority (the “NCA”) has warned Sector Alarm Group AS that its acquisition of a non-controlling stake in a competitor may be blocked. Unless the parties are able to resolve the NCA’s concerns by 29 March, they face the first prohibition of a minority acquisition under Norway’s 2004 Competition […]

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 […]

The Siemens-Alstom merger-thriller – indicator of a new era for European champions?

The Siemens-Alstom merger-thriller – indicator of a new era for European champions?

The proposed Siemens-Alstom merger (Case M.8677) has kept many parties on their toes since it was notified in June 2018, from the parties themselves to the EU Commission and even to national governments. With the recent remedies offered by the parties to secure clearance of the merger allegedly unofficially rejected today, there is little hope left the merger will go […]

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 […]

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 […]