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 […]

Webtaxi: The Luxembourg Competition Authority exempts an algorithmic price-fixing arrangement on efficiency grounds

Webtaxi: The Luxembourg Competition Authority exempts an algorithmic price-fixing arrangement on efficiency grounds

With the increasing digitalization of economy, algorithms are more and more often relied on by businesses in their economic activities for many purposes including setting prices. Competition authorities have concerns that the use of algorithmic pricing may result in undertakings coordinating their pricing policies to the detriment of competition (see here, here and here). The decision recently handed down by […]

The AT&T-Time Warner decision and its implications for vertical merger enforcement in the U.S.

The AT&T-Time Warner decision and its implications for vertical merger enforcement in the U.S.

Last week’s big antitrust news came from the other side of the Atlantic. On June 12th, judge Leon from the District Court of Columbia gave the AT&T-Time Warner (TW) merger the go-ahead by rejecting the government’s case against it. The proceedings leading up to the decision were contentious, as the judge stressed in the opening paragraph of his opinion: If […]

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 […]

The Commission’s Gazprom decision – an environmentally relevant demonstration of the Commission’s power

The Commission’s Gazprom decision – an environmentally relevant demonstration of the Commission’s power

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is making a name for herself as the Commissioner who really takes on the ‘big whales’ of international corporations and holds them accountable to EU competition law. After the Commission took on international tech giants like Google and Facebook under Vestager’s stewardship, the Russian energy giant Gazprom has now been added as the latest feather in […]

The Commission proposes a Regulation on platform-to-business trading practices

The Commission proposes a Regulation on platform-to-business trading practices

On 26 April 2018, the European Commission adopted its Proposal for a Regulation ‘on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services’. In short, the proposal seeks to regulate the relation between platforms and businesses by imposing a number of transparency obligations on the former. In this blog post, I will take a closer look at the […]

Online platforms and refusal to deal – Unlockd vs. Google- a seminal case in the making?

Online platforms and refusal to deal – Unlockd vs. Google- a seminal case in the making?

The recent standoff between advertisement application developer Unlockd and Google, concerning the removal of Unlockd from the Google Play Store and AdMob marketplace, may turn out to be one of the most important competition law cases of the year. This case, which will likely require a competition law review of Google’s terms and conditions for these platforms, provides the opportunity […]

New Commission proposal for more whistleblower protection: more of the same for competition law?

New Commission proposal for more whistleblower protection: more of the same for competition law?

In a press release of 23 April 2018, the EU Commission announced the proposal of a new Directive that is set to introduce new, EU-wide rules for the better protection of whistleblowers. The press release underlines the importance of whistleblowers in uncovering breaches of EU law, as demonstrated by recent scandals, such as Dieselgate, Panama Papers, or Cambridge Analytica. Without […]

Protecting David against Goliath: Commission’s Proposal against Unfair Trading Practices in the Food Supply Chain

Protecting David against Goliath: Commission’s Proposal against Unfair Trading Practices in the Food Supply Chain

In response to concerns over so-called unfair trading practices (UTPs) between businesses arising from significant imbalances of economic power, the European Commission has for years devoted much attention to the functioning of the food supply chain. Despite these efforts, actual enforcement actions and legislative developments unfolded predominantly on the Member State level. On April 12, however, the Commission may have […]