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 […]

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 […]