Abuse of relative dominance in the platform economy: a French court finds Amazon’s contracts with third-party sellers significantly imbalanced

Abuse of relative dominance in the platform economy: a French court finds Amazon’s contracts with third-party sellers significantly imbalanced

Two years ago (before Amazon became entangled in a patchwork of investigations by competition authorities), Reuters reported: ‘France files complaint against Amazon for abuse of dominant position’. The news report did not garner a lot of attention. More surprisingly, neither did the recent judgment of the Paris Commercial Court on the complaint. As the judgment offers insight into several pressing […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Online platforms and abuse of dominance – the case of Funda Real Estate

Online platforms and abuse of dominance – the case of Funda Real Estate

The application of EU competition law to online platforms has been subject to much debate in the course of the past two years. The EU Commission and several national competition law authorities have launched multiple studies in order to identify the possible challenges in this context and establish an action plan. The distinguishing characteristics of online platforms including: the reliance […]

Can consumers pay too much when they pay nothing? The Bundeskartellamt’s Facebook case

Can consumers pay too much when they pay nothing? The Bundeskartellamt’s Facebook case

Can consumers pay too much when they pay nothing? The question might seem absurd, but a recent investigation by the Bundeskartellamt raises the question: it is accusing Facebook, which offers its services for free, of an infringement that looks a lot like excessive pricing. In this blog post, I unpack the Facebook case by explaining the social network’s business model, […]