Internet & Antitrust

Anticompetitive practices

Internet and Antitrust: An overview of EU and national case law
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
I. Introduction The last decade has seen Internet-based “disruptive innovation” in many sectors of the economy, not least communications, media, advertising and retail. This unprecedented development has brought about changes that would have been unimaginable until very recently: Websites, (...)

The US FTC settles charges of two Internet resellers of UPC barcodes used by retailers for violation of the FTC Act by inviting competitors to collude to raise prices for barcodes sold over the Internet (680 Digital)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Scanner Emergency in Aisle Five: US FTC Settles Bar Code Seller Invitation to Collude Case* In an interesting case that caught my eye yesterday and today, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a settlement in a case involving allegations that an online bar code re-seller engaged (...)

A US District Court receives notification that the class plaintiffs, state plaintiffs and the defendant have reached an agreement concerning the lawsuit in the e-books prices fixing case (Apple)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
Apple settles with U.S. states and consumers in the e-books price fixing case* According to documents filed in a New York court on 16 June 2014, Apple has reached an agreement in principle with state governments and consumers who filed a class-action lawsuit in the e-books price fixing case (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal suspends the registration of the consent agreement pending the determination of application pursuant to Section 106(2) related to a price MFN clause on the market for e-books retail (Kobo)
Affleck Greene McMurtry
The Ebooks Saga: Kobo’s challenge explained* Ebook retailer Kobo is challenging a settlement entered into by the Competition Bureau with ebook publishers. The settlement has been stayed pending this challenge. Kobo’s challenge may have major implications for competition law enforcement in (...)

The German Competition Authority finds that a selective distribution system, which allows for the sale of running shoes to final customers only via authorised dealers poses a number of serious restraints to competition (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt takes a critical view of restriction of online distribution by ASICS* After a preliminary examination the Bundeskartellamt has found that the selective distribution system of ASICS Deutschland, which allows for the sale of running shoes to final customers only via authorised (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces by almost 99 percent the penalty imposed by the French Competition Authority on a manufacturer for prohibiting the sale of its products online to the members of its selective distribution network (Bang & Olufsen)
Dunaud Clarenc Combles & Associés
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Dechert (Paris)
In its judgment of March 13, 2014, the Paris Court of appeal (Court of Appeal) reduced by almost 99 per cent the penalty imposed by the French Competition Authority (FCA) on Bang & Olufsen (B&O) in its decision of December 12, 2012 (Decision) for having, since 2001, prohibited the (...)

The Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime enters into settlements with owners of driving schools in a cartel case (Driving schools)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 28 February 2014, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (“DCCA”) announced in a press release that the owners of five driving schools had entered into a settlement with the Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (“PSEIC”) for infringing section 6 of the Danish (...)

The US District Court of Dallas dismisses a class action lawsuit filed by an online travel discount company against 12 dominant hotel chains and 9 online travel agencies alledging unfair exclusion from the market (OTC / Hotel Booking)
Ashurst (Milan)
U.S. District Judge in Texas dismisses class action lawsuit against conspiracy by online travel agencies and hotels to fix the price of hotel rooms* On 18 February 2014, U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle of the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division dismissed a class action lawsuit that (...)

The US District Court of Dallas dismisses antitrust claims because plaintiffs did not plausibly state an agreement on the market for direct online sale of hotel room reservations leaving the question of potential anticompetitive effect of the most favored nation (MFN) clause without an answer (OTC / Hotel Booking)
University of Michigan
OTA Case Turns Out to Be Less about MFNs and More about Agreement* Back in September 2012, the potential anticompetitive aspects of most favored nation (MFN) clauses was the hot antitrust topic. While antitrust counselors (and courts) had found the clauses to be innocuous almost all the time, (...)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launches its twice-yearly report providing a summary of activities in the small business and franchising sectors and updates on industry codes
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Big spike in small business contacts to competition regulator* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched the latest Small Business in Focus Report which outlines its work in the sector. ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said that the report highlights the ongoing (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office issues a press release concerning its decision to prohibit the hotel booking portal from continuing to apply its “best price” clause (Booking.com / Expedia / HRS)
Ashurst (Milan)
German Federal Cartel Office bans use of MFN clauses by HRS and opens new proceedings against Booking.com and Expedia* On 20 December 2013, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued a press release concerning its decision to prohibit the hotel booking portal HRS from continuing to apply its (...)

The UK OFT opens consultation on the revised commitments proposed by online travel agencies (Booking.com / Expedia)
Ashurst (Milan)
UK OFT weighs revised commitments in the online hotel accommodation bookings* On 20 December 2013, the United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) opened a consultation on the revised commitments proposed by Booking.com B.V. (“Booking.com”), Expedia Inc (“Expedia”) and InterContinental Hotels (...)

The ECN Working Group on Competition Law gathers in Bonn to discuss matters related to vertical restraints in the internet economy
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Vertical Restraints in the Internet Economy - Meeting of the Working Group on Competition Law in Bonn* Bonn, 14 October 2013: On 10 October 2013 the Working Group on Competition Law met in Bonn at the invitation of the Bundeskartellamt. At this year’s meeting more than 100 competition law (...)

The UK OFT issues draft commitments in an investigation into the sector for hotel online booking (IHG / Expedia / Booking.com)
Accenture (Dublin)
Hotel Online Booking: The OFT announces its intention to accept binding commitments* On 9 August 2013, the OFT issued draft commitments in the Hotel Online Booking investigation. The OFT has investigated the relevant markets for over 2 years and has provisionally found that certain hotels (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority initiates a sector inquiry on the online room reservation market of the tourism sector
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
Sector inquiry on the market of online room reservations* Pursuant to Article 43/C of the Competition Act, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has initiated a sector inquiry on the online room reservation market of the tourism sector in order to familiarise itself with and evaluate the (...)

The German Competition Authority expresses concerns about best price clauses for operator of internet platform (HRS-Hotel Reservation Service)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: The Bundeskartellamt expresses Concerns about Best Price Clauses for Operator of Internet Platform* On 25 July 2013, the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) addressed a second statement of objections to HRS-Hotel Reservation Service Robert Ragge GmbH, Cologne (HRS), a hotel booking platform. A (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out an inquiry in the area of prescription medicine distribution in private practices
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence is submitting to public consultation an initial assessment in which it has identified several potential sticking points* Medicinal products are the second-largest (...)

The German Competition Authority launches a web survey targeting 2,400 sellers who offer their products on major internet platform (Amazon Marketplace)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt surveys Amazon Marketplace sellers* Today the Bundeskartellamt launched a web survey of 2,400 sellers who offer their products through Amazon Marketplace. Within the framework of administrative proceedings under competition law the Bundeskartellamt is examining the effects of (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rules that dermo-cosmetic products do not have objective properties justifying the prohibition of their sale on the Internet (Pierre Fabre)
Vogel & Vogel
In answer to the question of whether a general and absolute ban on selling cosmetics and personal care products online constitutes a hardcore restriction of competition by object, the European Court of Justice said that yes it did, if "having regard to the properties of the products at issue, (...)

The U.S. FTC applies questionable principles to the enforcement of fair reasonable and non discriminatory - obligated SEPs through injunction in its settlement with leading web search engine (Google)
Techfreedom
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International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
Introduction In January of 2013, the Federal Trade Commission and Google (acting through its subsidiary, Motorola Mobility) signed a Consent Order ending the agency’s investigation into a number of practices. Much of the Order is aimed at imposing antitrust-based limits on the allowable process (...)

The German Competition Authority fines two major TV broadcasting groups and two individuals for entering into anticompetitive agreements when they introduced the encryption of their digital free TV programmes (Pro7Sat1 and RTL)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany: The Bundeskartellamt imposes Fines on Pro7Sat1 and RTL on account of Agreements on basic Encryption of TV Programmes and secures unencrypted SD TV* On 28 December 2012 the Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) imposed fines totalling approximately € 55 000 000 on the two major German TV (...)

The EU Commission finds that given the nature of the relevant product, concerted practices covering a substantial part of the EEA may affect the interstate trade (e-books)
University of South Australia
Sad but true* I love commitments decisions because they are a quick read. But I also hate dislike them because they leave the reader angry hungry for more. Some evidence: in the E-Books case, the effect on trade condition was deemed fulfilled under the simplest possible sort of analysis: (...)

The European Commission accepts commitments in e-books case (Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Hachette, Holtzbrinck and Apple)
European Commission (Brussels)
European Commission accepts Commitments in E-Books Case* On 12 December 2012, the European Commission (Commission) accepted formally binding commitments from four international publishers (Simon & Schusters (CBS Corp., USA), HarperCollins (News Corp., USA), Hachette Livre (Lagardère (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a manufacturer which prohibited internet sales by its distributors (Bang & Olufsen)
Google (Paris)
Ten years! It took no less than ten years to decide whether it is lawful for a manufacturer to prevent online sales to its distributors. Compared to the speed at which businesses evolve on the internet, that is as if the conduct subject to scrutiny lasted half a century… In February 2002, the (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority fines tours operators and travel agents for concerted practices relating to online sale of package tours (Eturas)
European Commission (Brussels)
Lithuania: The Competition Council imposes Fine of more than € 1 500 000 for Anti-competitive Practice relating to Online Sale of Package Tours* On 7 June 2012, the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (the CC) adopted a decision in which 30 tour operators/travel agents were fined (...)

The EU Commission opens an investigation into alleged anticompetitive practices by five EU and US publishers
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission investigates companies active in the e-book publishing sector* On 6 December 2011 the European Commission opened an investigation into alleged anticompetitive practices by five EU and US publishers, possibly with the help of Apple, in relation to the sale of e-books in the (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Mazak recommends that prohibition on internet sales be per se infringement (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
On March 3, 2011, Advocate General (AG) Mazák delivered an opinion to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique SAS (PFDC). PFDC, a French manufacturer of cosmetics and personal care products, prohibited its retailers from selling via the Internet. AG Mazák advised the (...)

The Swiss COMCO investigates restrictions of online home appliance sales (Electrolux /V-Zug)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Swiss Competition Commission investigates online sales restrictions by Electrolux and V-Zug* On 16 September 2010, the Swiss Competition Commission (“COMCO”) announced (French, German, not available in English) that it is investigating Electrolux’s and V-Zug’s restrictions of online home appliance (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal reduces damages awarded for sales of perfumes through a website by unauthorised distributors (eBay, Parfums Christian Dior, Kenzo Parfums, Parfums Givenchy, and Guerlain)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 September 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal delivered its judgment in a case between eBay and SA Parfums Christian Dior, SA Kenzo Parfums, SA Parfums Givenchy, and SA Guerlain (which are perfume and cosmetics suppliers belonging to the LVMH group – hereinafter the “LVMH group”). On 30 June (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments in order to address competition concerns in the discount coupons sector (HighCo, Sogec & Perifem)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence accepts commitments enabling all market operators to use Webcoupon or to develop equivalent solutions.* After a referreal by the Institut de liaisons et d’études des industries de (...)

The EU Commission publishes new block exemption regulations and guidelines on vertical restrictions
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Internet distribution – The European Commission publishes new rules on vertical agreements* On 20 April 2010, the European Commission published the revised Block Exemption Regulation and the Guidelines on Vertical Restraints. The long awaited Block Exemption Regulation (the “BER”) and the (...)

The US DoJ issues business review letter regarding a proposed Internet media subscription news aggregation service (Global News Service)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. Department of Justice does not challenge online subscription news service* On 24 February 2010 the Department of Justice issued a business review letter regarding a proposed Internet media subscription news aggregation service (Global News Service) that would be operated by MyWire, Inc. (...)

The US DoJ closes investigation into the proposed Internet search and search advertising agreement (Microsoft - Yahoo!)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. Department of Justice closes investigation into Microsoft-Yahoo! agreement* On 18 February 2010 the U.S. Department of Justice announced the closing of its investigation into the proposed Internet search and search advertising agreement between Microsoft Corporation and Yahoo! Inc. (see (...)

The US DoJ remains concerned over coordination and exclusivity issues in proposed amended settlement among publishers and authors (Google Books)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. Department of Justice remains concerned over antitrust issues raised by “Google Books” settlement* On 4 February 2010 the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest regarding the proposed amended settlement agreement in The Authors Guild Inc. et al. v. Google Inc. with the (...)

A French Court of Appeal makes a reference for a preliminary ruling to the ECJ on whether a general and absolute ban on Internet sales by approved distributors does constitute a “hardcore restriction” on competition by object within the meaning of Art. 81.1 EC (Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Paris)
In a judgment dated 29 October 2009, the French Court of Appeal made a reference for a preliminary ruling under article 234 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (the “EC Treaty”), whereby the ECJ was asked to answer “the question whether a general and absolute ban on Internet sales to (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the review of EC Regulation 2790/99 and of the European guidelines on vertical restraints
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence welcomes the modernization undertaken by the European Commission and recommends that the Commission better explains the balance it intends to guarantee between online trade and (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office fines € 11.5 million a contact lens provider for fixing minimum resale prices and restricting Internet and wholesale sales of its products (CIBA)
Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (London)
On September 25, 2009, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) levied a fine of €11.5 million against contact lens provider CIBA Vision Vertriebs GmbH (CIBA) for fixing minimum resale prices and restricting Internet and wholesale sales of its products. This is the third decision imposed by the (...)

The European Commission publishes for consultation drafts of the vertical agreements block exemption regulation and vertical guidelines
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 28 July 2009, the European Commission published for consultation a draft of the proposed new Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation (VABER) and its accompanying draft Vertical Guidelines. Interested parties are invited to submit comments on these documents by 28 September 2009. The (...)

The French Competition Authority issues opinion on exclusivity agreements between pay TV operators and Internet service providers
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 July 2009, following a request of the French Minister of Economy, the French Competition Authority issued an opinion concerning exclusivity agreements between pay TV operators and Internet service providers. Among the various issues raised, the Minister referred to the so-called «double (...)

A German court rules on restrictions on sales through auction websites in the context of selective distribution (Sternjakob)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a judgment of 21 April 2009, the Regional Court of Berlin (the Court) concluded that restrictions on sales through eBay imposed by a supplier of school bags on its selective distributors would be anti-competitive. According to this judgment, Sternjakob, a manufacturer of school bags, had (...)

A French Court rules that search engines are not liable for the way a company is presented in their search results (Publison System v. Google France & Yahoo France)
Google (Paris)
A French firm discovered that results returned by major search tools pointed to excerpts of a website criticizing it. It sued the search tools, claiming they were disparaging. A French court of appeals finds that this neither constitutes unfair competition nor gives rise to liability. Facts (...)

The French NCA sanctions the prohibition of Internet sales imposed on the members of a selective distribution network, under Art. 81.1 EC (Pierre Fabre Dermo-cosmétique)
White & Case (Paris)
In a decision n° 08-D-25 dated 29 October 2008 (hereinafter the “Decision”), the French Competition Council sanctioned Pierre Fabre Dermo-cosmétique for prohibiting its selected distributors from selling personal care and cosmetic products under the Klorane, Avène, Ducray and Galénic brands on the (...)

A French Court orders a search engine and an online advertiser to pay damages to a company whose name and domain name have both been used in the Adwords program (Cobrason / Google, Home Ciné Solutions)
EDHEC Business School
Google France and Home Ciné Solutions (HCS) have been sued in France by Cobrason before the Commercial Court (Tribunal de commerce) of Paris. Cobrason claims that HCS is using both its company title (Cobrason) and its domain name (Cobrason.com) in the form of keywords it had purchased from (...)

The Paris Commercial Court condemns a leading auction website to pay damages to perfume makers for a violation of their selective distribution networks (eBay)
Altana Law (Paris)
On 30 June 2008, the Commercial Court of Paris (Tribunal de Commerce de Paris) rendered three important decisions condemning the international auction website eBay mainly for its participation to an infringement of the IP rights of six manufacturers of luxury products belonging to the Louis (...)

A French Court of appeal rejects a request to forbid Internet resellers to sell a supplier’s products considering that the legality of its exclusive distribution network is not established (Brandalley, Over Stock / Puma)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Paris)
French courts are more and more solicited by suppliers claiming that online resellers or platforms violate their selective and/or exclusive distribution networks. We all remember the decisions recently rendered by the Paris commercial court in favour of LVMH against ebay . In a similar case, (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the legality of two restrictions on Internet sales by authorised retailers within a selective distribution network (PMC Distribution / Pacific Création)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Paris)
In its decision dated 18 April 2008, S.A.R.L. PMC Distribution vs. S.A.S. Pacific Création, the Paris Court of Appeal (the "Court") takes part in the debate on the legal regime of Internet sales within selective distribution systems. Pacific Création, an undertaking which manufactures and (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts the commitments taken by 10 companies of the cosmetic industry to introduce more competition into online sale of their products (Bioderma & Rogé Cavaillès)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Conseil de la concurrence facilitates online sale of cosmetic products: 10 companies of the cosmetic industry committed to introduce more competition into online sale of their products.* The Conseil de la (...)

The French Competition Council accepts commitments to modify selective distribution agreements as regards access to the network and advertising on the Internet (Festina)
AptarGroup
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SNCF Mobilités
The Bijourama Company is specialized in the sale of time pieces, jewellery and silversmith’s pieces exclusively on the internet. Bijourama submitted a referral to the French Competition Council on October 13th, 2005. The company complained about the refusal of Festina France (a subsidiary of the (...)

The Paris Court of First Instance rules rules on the anticompetitive effect of a patent infringement collective complaint lodged against a search engine’s adwords system (Gifam / Google)
University Paris II Panthéon‑Assas
AdWords is Google’s flagship advertising product, and its main source of revenue. It offers pay-per-click advertising, and site-targeted advertising for both text and banner ads. But many of the words sold by Google to its clients are registered trademarks and Google has been recently facing (...)

The Dutch District Court of Zutphen holds in an interim judgment that the Vertical Restraints Block Exemption Reg. n° 2790/99 covers the application of dissimilar terms and conditions of supply to internet retailers (Groen Trend & Schouten Keukens / AEP Home Products)
The AES Corporation
In December 2005 interim proceedings were brought before the District Court of Zutphen in a dispute between AEP Home Products (“AEP”), a supplier of kitchen appliances of the brands Atag, Etna and Pelgrim, and two of its buyers namely the internet retailer Groen Trend and the specialist shop (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects a request for interim measures submitted to address alleged competition concerns in the sector for on-line travel deals (Lastminute.com)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. On-line travel deals - The Conseil de la concurrence rejects a request for interim measures submitted by the company Lastminute.com, but pursues the investigation of the case on the merits.* On 25th June (...)

The European Commission exempts a standard agreement entered into by a number of copyright administration societies from Europe, South America, Asia and New Zealand (IFPI Simulcasting)
University of Lisbon
"From discothèques to websites, a new approach to music copyright licensing: the Simulcasting decision"* On 8 October 2002 the Commission adopted a decision in case COMP/C2/38.014 IFPI Simulcasting exempting a standard agreement entered into by a number of copyright administration societies (...)

Dominance

The French Competition Authority and the UK Competition and Markets Authority publish their joint report on digital ecosystems
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The French Autorité de la Concurrence and the UK Competition and Markets Authority have produced a joint report on ecosystems and their effects on competition.* The digital economy gives consumers and firms increased access to products, services, and information. These different products and (...)

The French Competition Authority receives commitments from an online hotel booking company aiming at ending practices likely to constitute an abuse of dominance (Booking.com)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Online hotel booking sector* Booking.com has proposed to the Autorité de la concurrence to remove the so-called “pricing parity clause” obliging hotels to grant it pricing conditions that are at least as favorable as those granted to the other online platforms Hotels can now place booking.com in (...)

The Italian Competition Authority initiates antitrust proceedings concerning use of most favored nation clauses in the online hotel reservations space (Booking.com / Expedia)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Italian competition authority investigates online hotel bookings* On 7 May 2014, the Italian Competition Authority (“Agcm”) initiated proceedings (decision only available in Italian) against Booking.com and Expedia in the online hotel reservations space. This is yet another case in the wake of (...)

The French Competition Authority makes legally binding the commitment of the holder of a legal monopoly over horserace bets placed in physical outlets, to separate its online horserace betting activity from its point of sale network (Pari Mutuel Urbain)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
French Competition Authority orders PMU to separate its online horserace betting activity from its physical point of sale network* On 25 February 2014, the French Competition Authority (“AdlC”) issued a decision (available only in French) making legally binding the commitment of Pari Mutuel (...)

The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal rules that abuse of dominance provisions could potentially apply to a person that controls a market without competing in that market (TREB)
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Toronto)
Canadian Federal Court of Appeal Expands Scope of Competition Act’s Abuse of Dominance Provisions* On February 3, 2014, the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the Competition Tribunal’s 2013 decision dismissing the Commissioner of Competition’s abuse of dominance allegations against the Toronto (...)

The German and UK competition authorities close investigations against leading online retailer concerning its price parity policy applicable to third party sellers (Amazon)
European Commission (Brussels)
Germany and United Kingdom: Antitrust Cases against Amazon formally closed* On 26 and 29 November 2013, the German Bundeskartellamt (BKartA) and the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) terminated their respective antitrust investigations into Amazon’s price parity policy applicable to third (...)

The Taiwan Fair Trade Commission fines electronics company for disseminating false online information to disparage competing products (Samsung)
Chung Yuan Christian University
Introduction On October 31, 2013, the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) imposed a fine of NT$10 million (US$340,000) on Samsung for hiring an independent marketing company to disseminate false online information regarding cellphones and other electronic devices produced by its competitors in (...)

The EU Commission expresses concerns that the revised commitments do not address abusive practices in the online search space (Google)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission not convinced by improved commitments offered by Google* On 21 October 2013 Google offered improved commitments to the European Commission in order to close the three-year long investigation into four practices that the Commission considered had amounted to a possible abuse (...)

The European Commission carries out a market test of commitments in its investigation of online search service provider (Google)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
The Google Commitments – Testing Substantive Theories Through Remedy Discussion* Over the last two months, the Commission has been market testing commitments that Google has offered to resolve the Commission’s pending investigation. Many have made thoughtful comments. But there has also been (...)

The European Commission begins market testing of commitments offered by the leading web search operator to address competition concerns (Google)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 April 2013, the Commission issued a press release announcing that it had begun market testing commitments offered by Google in relation to online search and search advertising. In its press release, the Commission stated that it continues to have concerns that Google may be abusing (...)

The EU Commission seeks feedback on commitments meant to address competition concerns on the market for web search (Google)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission market tests Google commitments in relation to online search and search advertising* On 25 April 2013 the European Commission published a press release and a memo seeking observations from third parties on the commitments offered by Google in order to address the (...)

The EU Commission receives a complaint alleging abuse of dominant position on the market for smartphone operating system (FairSearch/Google)
Garrigues (Brussels)
Some thoughts on the new anti-Google (Android) complaint* Some background to the complaint Back in April the FairSearch coalition in this case only two of its members Microsoft and Nokia lodged a complaint with DG Comp alleging: (a) that by giving Android to device-makers for “free” Google (...)

The Guangdong High Court rules against plaintiff in high-profile on-line abuse of dominance case (Qihoo / Tencent)
First Principles Economics (FPE)
On the 28th March 2013 the Guangdong High Court published their eagerly awaited decision regarding the abuse of dominance antitrust dispute between Qihoo 360 (Qihoo, the Plaintiff) and Tecent QQ (Tencent, the Defendant). The decision was over fifty thousand Chinese characters in length. This (...)

The Chinese Guangdong High People’s Court renders a judgment on the definition of relevant market in an alleged abuse of dominance case in the IT sector (Qihoo / Tencent)
Renmin University of China
I. Introduction 1. Beijing Qihoo Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to “Qihoo”) is the copyright owner and operator of 360 safe software. Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd., and Shenzhen Tencent Computer System Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to “Tencent”) are respectively the (...)

The French Competition Authority rejects complaint based on allegations of abuse of dominance on the market for online advertising (E-Kanopi)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
French Competition Authority dismisses E-Kanopi’s complaint against Google* On 4 March 2013 the French competition authority dismissed (only available in French) a complaint by E-Kanopi alleging that Google abused of its dominant position by seeking to force it out of the market in breach of (...)

The US FTC announces proposed settlement concerning practices in online search and advertising (Google search)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. Federal Trade Commission announces proposed settlement with Google* On 3 January 2013 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that Google Inc. has agreed to not seek injunctive relief against rivals using its essential patents. The FTC also announced that Google has altered its (...)

The French Competition Authority issues a first commitment decision concerning competition concerns in the Internet connectivity market (France Telecom, Cogent)
European Commission (Brussels)
France: First Commitment Decision related to Internet Neutrality issued by the Autorité de la concurrence* On 20 September 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) issued for the first time a commitment decision concerning competition concerns relating to certain restrictions allegedly (...)

The EU Competition Commissioner makes a statement on the progress of the on-going investigation into the alleged abuse of dominance in the search engine market (Google)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Almunia offers Google settlement talks* Last 21 may 2012, Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia made a statement on the progress of the on-going investigation into Google’s alleged abuse of dominance in the search engine market, which the Commission was investigating since November 2010 (see (...)

The European Commission invites leading web search engine to submit remedies to address alleged abuse of dominance concerns (Google)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 May 2012, the Commission issued a press statement inviting Google to submit remedies to address four concerns it identified pursuant to the antitrust investigation it launched in November 2010 into a potential abuse by Google of its dominant market position. The Commission noted (...)

A Russian Commercial Appeal Court imposes a significant amend for a breach of competition on the market of domain name registration (Ru-Center)
Deloitte (Moscow)
On March 19, 2012 the 9th Commercial (Arbitrazh) Appeal Court of the Russian Federation issued a landmark antimonopoly case decision concerning distribution of domain names. The dispute concerned significant abuses of the organization entitled to manage Russian domain name system. As it was (...)

The Paris Commercial Court finds that leading internet search company abused its dominant position on the maps market (Bottin Cartographes / Google)
Google (Paris)
Facts Is free an anticompetitive behavior? Bottin Cartographes, a French company which offers solutions to firms which want to integrate maps in their websites, realized that it was losing clients to Google. Its clients, which used to pay for the display on their pages of their location and (...)

The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) confirms investigation for abuse of dominance against two giant State-owned telecommunication operators (China Telecom, China Unicom)
King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing)
Earlier Rumor Confirmed: China Telecom and China Unicom under Antitrust Investigation* On November 9, 2011, an earlier rumor indicating that China Telecom is under antitrust investigation for alleged abuse of dominance in the broadband market was confirmed by the National Development and (...)

The US Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust conducts antitrust hearings on abuse of dominance investigation in the web search industry (Google)
Rimm-Kaufman Group (Charlottesville, VA)
Google Antitrust Hearing: 5 Takeaways* While yesterday’s Senate antitrust hearing on Google practices may have been more about spectacle than action, it was an opportunity to gain insights into the mindset of Google and the government officials that may seek to intervene in their operations. (...)

The US FTC opens in-depth investigation for alleged antitrust violations in the online search market: A point of view (Google)
David A. Balto (Washington, DC)
Internet Search Competition: Where’s the Beef?* On [24] June 2011, Google announced that the FTC had opened an investigation of its search practices. This is an issue I have given considerable thought to. In an article I just released—Internet Search Competition: Where’s the Beef?—I explain (...)

The EU Commission is called on to assess whether a company in the online search market has abused of its dominant position under Art. 102 TFEU (Microsoft, Google)
University of South Australia
Microsoft v. Google – Clash of the Titans* On Behalf of the Antitrust Community, A Big Thank You – Antitrust law professors should be grateful to Microsoft (hereafter, “MSFT”). As a repeat offender of the competition laws, MSFT has provided scholars with loads of research and educational material (...)

A US district court rejects settlement between online search provider and copyright owners in the digitized books sector (Google Books Settlement)
Garrigues (Brussels)
Google Books Settlement Rejected* Some of you will recall that roughly a year ago I wrote a post on the Google Books settlement (“Google Books Settlement: It’s the search market stupid!”) in which I argued that the only competitive problem, if any, posed by the amended settlement related to the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority accepts commitments proposed by the main IT operator closing the investigation for abuse of dominance on the online collecting advertisement market (Google Italy)
Criterion Economics
The Italian competition authority accepts Google’s commitments in the investigation concerning Google News in Italy* In January 2011, the Italian Competition Authority announced that it closed its investigation against Google Italy, for the alleged abuse of dominant position. The decision was (...)

The French Competition Auhtority issues an opinion concerning the dominant position of a search engine company in the market for online advertising (Google)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence considers that Google holds a dominant position on the advertising market linked to search engines. It considers that competition law can apply limits to Google’s actions and (...)

The European Commission opens in-depth investigation over alleged antitrust violations in on-line search market (Microsoft, Google)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Microsoft Files Antitrust Complaint with European Commission Against Google* Microsoft Corporation has filed a formal complaint with the European Commission (EC) against Google Inc. as part of the EC’s ongoing antitrust investigation into the search engine company. In a March 30 blog post, Brad (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) receives requests for review in the internet industry (Baidu, Tencent)
AnJie Law (Beijing)
Market dominance and the Internet: new industry, new rules?* China’s biggest encyclopaedia website, Hudong.com, has requested an anti-monopoly review of Baidu, the leading Chinese internet search engine. Hudong.com is asking the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) to fine (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts the commitments undertaken by a search engine company as regards possible exclusionary conduct on the market for online advertising (AdWords)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
French Competition Authority makes Google’s commitments in Navx case binding* On 28 October 2010, the French Autorité de la Concurrence (“FAC”) formally accepted and thereby made binding on Google a set of improved commitments (available only in French) which the FAC considered to properly address (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments relating to online advertising service (Google AdWords)
Hewlett Packard (Boulogne-Billancourt)
In its decision n° 10-D-30 dated 28 October 2010, relating to practices implemented in the online advertising sector (relative à des pratiques dans le secteur de la publicité en ligne), the French Competition Authority (the «Competition Authority«) accepted the commitments offered by Google to solve (...)

The EU Commission declares that it would not open formal proceedings following the change of policies on restrictions on the development of apps for smartphone operating system and cross-border warranties (Apple’s iPhone)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
European Commission closes preliminary investigations into Apple’s iPhone policies* On 25 September 2010, the European Commission declared that it would not open formal proceedings against Apple, following Apple’s iPhone change of policies on restrictions on the development of applications (or (...)

The French Competition Authority launches a market test following a leading internet corporation commitments (Google)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute
On 21 July 2010, the French Competition Authority published commitments offered by Google in an effort to resolve competition concerns identified by the Competition Authority in a decision of 30 June 2010. The 30 June decision granted interim measures to Navx, a company which sells online (...)

The European Commission recognises that due to their dynamics internet markets such as online search engines are characterized by innovative business models that are constantly evolving and therefore market dominance on the internet might be difficult to establish (Google)
Sheppard Mullin (Del Mar)
EC Investigates Google for Potential Abuse of Dominance in Online Search Market* In July 2010, Vice President of the European Commission (EC) responsible for competition policy, Mr. Joaquin Almunia, referred to the essential role that competition policy has in ensuring “market access and (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an interim decision opening an investigation to ascertain abuse of dominance by refusing to display advertising (Navx)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Google under investigation in France for alleged abuse in the online advertising market* On 30 June 2010, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) issued an interim decision opening an investigation to ascertain whether Google abused its dominant position, as well as Navx’s state of economic (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes interim measures in order to ensure that a company providing advertising services, implements its content policy in an objective, transparent and non discriminatory manner (Navx / Google - AdWords)
White & Case (Paris)
Background On June, 30, 2010, following a complaint coupled with a request for interim measures lodged by Navx, the French National Competition Authority (thereafter “NCA”), by way of interim decision, ordered Google Ireland and Google Inc. (hereafter “Google”) to implement in an objective, (...)

The EU Commission makes public its long awaited policy document on the Digital Agenda for Europe
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Standard Setting in the EU’s Digital Agenda* On 19 May 2010, the European Commission made public its long awaited policy document on the Digital Agenda for Europe. The overall aim of the Digital Agenda is to deliver sustainable economic and social benefits from a digital single market based on (...)

The Italian Competition Authority publishes commitments offered to put an end to an antitrust investigation under article 102 TFEU concerning use of newspaper content (Google)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Google offers commitments to close investigation in Italy* On 14 May 2010, the Italian Competition Authority (“AGCM”) published the commitments (available on the AGCM website) offered by Google to put an end to an antitrust investigation of its Google News service under Article 102 TFEU (see (...)

The Italian Competition Authority closes investigation into an online news aggregator service following commitments (Google)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute
The Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) has recently terminated an antitrust investigation into Google after accepting and making binding commitments offered by Google to resolve two concerns raised during the ICA’s investigation. The ICA’s investigation started in August 2009, when Google was (...)

The European Commission market tests commitments proposed by a leading software company to address allegations of tying an internet browser (Microsoft)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute
On 7 October 2009, the Commission announced that it was beginning a market test of commitments offered by Microsoft to address allegations that it tied its web browser Internet Explorer with its client PC operating system. The move follows the publication of a Statement of Objections earlier (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority adopts landmark decision concerning an abuse of dominant position case in the Internet broadband access markets (PT and ZON)
Luís Silva Morais & Associados
In the beginning of September, 2009, the Portuguese Competition Authority (hereinafter, ’ADC’) has adopted a decision concerning an important case of abuse of dominant position in the wholesale and retail markets for internet broadband access. This decision confirms the special attention that the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority starts a proceedings against Google Italy for an alleged abuse of dominant position against Italian newspaper and magazines editors (Federazione Italiana Editori Giornali/Google Italy)
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
,
University Luiss Guido Carli - GRIF (Rome)
On the 26th August 2009 the Italian Competition Authority (the ICA) decided to start a proceedings against GOOGLE Italy (the Italian branch of the GOOGLE Group) for alleged infringement of article 82 of the EU Treaty (abuse of dominant position). The proceedings follows a complaint by the (...)

The European Commission confirms sending new statement of objections against a leading software company (Microsoft)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
,
Practising Law Institute
The Commission has issued a press release confirming that it has sent a new Statement of Objections to Microsoft on 15th January 2009 which takes the preliminary view that Microsoft has tied its web browser Internet Explorer to Windows in violation of Article 82 EC. According to the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority accepts the commitments offered in the voice communications and broadband internet access services markets following its investigation into alleged abuse of dominant position (Telecom Italia)
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo (Rome)
By its Decision delivered on 11 December 2008, the Italian Competition Authority (the "ICA") decided to close the proceedings initiated against Telecom Italia ("TI"), by adopting a commitment decision under Art. 14-ter of Law 287/1990 (the Italian Competition Act) which implements the provision (...)

The Macedonian Administrative Court confirms the Competition Authority’s decision prosecuting the incumbent telecom operator for refusing access to its network by independent Internet providers (Macedonian Telecom)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
Summary The Macedonian Administrative Court affirmed the decision of the Macedonian Competition Authority prosecuting the incumbent telecom operator for abuse of dominant position manifested in denial of access to its own ADSL network by independent internet providers, while the same (...)

A Polish Court of Appeal quashes the first instance ruling reversing the NRA’s decision having imposed a € 21.5 million fine on the telecommunications incumbent for tying of Internet services contrary to cost-oriented prices principle (Telekomunikacja Polska)
European University Institute (Florence)
On 10 April 2008 the Court of Appeal quashed the verdict of the lower court, the SOKiK (the Polish Court for Competition and Consumer Protection), which in 2007 reversed the decision of the President of the UKE (the Office for Electronic Communications), imposing a 100 million PLN fine (...)

The Polish Competition Authority fines the largest telecom operator a record fine of € 20 M for abusing its dominant position on the Internet access market (Telekomunikacja Polska)
Allen & Overy (Warsaw)
On 20 December 2007 the President of the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP) issued a decision imposing a fine of PLN 75 million (approximately EUR 20 million) on Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. (TPSA), the incumbent telecom operator in Poland, for abusing its dominant (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an Internet operator for implementing discriminatory practices on the high-speed internet access market (France Télécom-Wanadoo)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. After a negotiated settlement with the company, the Conseil de la concurrence imposes €45m fine on France Telecom for having hindered the development of internet access providers competing with its Wanadoo (...)

The French Competition Council inflicts a € 45 M fine on the telecommunications incumbent for abusive discrimination and denigration on the ADSL high-speed Internet access market and specifies the notion of repeated infringements (France Télécom-Wanadoo)
Concurrences (Paris)
(Handook N° F12) The facts In the beginning of 2000, the incumbent telecommunications operator France Telecom has tried to dominate the emerging market of high-speed Internet access. Some of these attempts lead to important decisions from both the French Competition Council (the “Conseil”) and (...)

The Polish Competition Authority reverses on procedural grounds the Telecom Regulator’s decision having fined the former incumbent for tying Internet and telecommunications offers (Telekomunikacja Polska)
DeBenedetti Majewski Szczesniak
,
Bartkowiak Wojciechowski Halupczak Springer
On May, the Polish Court for Competition and Consumer Protection reversed the decision of the President of the Office for Electronic Communications (OEC) imposing a fine of 100,000,000 PLN on Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. (“TP S.A.”) for the unauthorized binding of offers of Neostrada tp (an (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority dismisses a complaint filed by a consumer against the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority for abuse of dominance on the Internet services market (Philippides/CYTA)
International Transport Forum
On 26 June 2006 the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (C.P.C.) dismissed a complaint filed by Mr. Alexis Philippides, a consumer and client of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA), against the latter for abuse of dominance in the market of Internet connection (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Authority fines the former telecom incumbent for margin squeeze limiting access to ADSL broadband internet access service (Teo)
Lithuanian Competition Council
On 5 October 2006 the Lithuanian Competition Council (CC) issued a decision establishing a fine of LTL 3,011,000 (approx. EUR 872,046) on TEO LT, AB (TEO) for the abuse of a dominant position prohibited by Article 9 of the Law on Competition. This was the third time that TEO, a former telecom (...)

The Hungarian Competition Office establishes that the telecom incumbent abusively used of its dominant position on the ADSL Internet market (Magyar Telekom)
Hogan Lovells
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In its decision of 5 September 2006 the Hungarian Competition Office established that the practice adopted by Hungarian Telekom for ADSL-modem removal infringed Article 21 (a) of the Hungarian Competition Act - the equivalent provision to Article 82 of the EC Treaty. Hungarian Telekom, which (...)

The Cyprus Competition Authority dismisses a complaint filed by a consumer for abuse of dominance on the Internet services market (Philipilides / Cyprus Telecommunications Authority)
International Transport Forum
On 26 June 2006 the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition (C.P.C.) dismissed a complaint filed by Mr. Alexis Philippides, a consumer and client of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA), against the latter for abuse of dominance in the market of Internet connection (...)

The Court of First Instance of The Hague dismisses a complaint for abusive access tariff on the broadband Internet access (Educatief Net - Easynet / KPN Telecom)
European Commission - DG HR
,
Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice
Nl.tree was established by nine cable operators, in order to supply, following an agreement concluded with the Dutch Ministry of Education, internet access and related services, known as “Kennisnet”, to primary schools, secondary schools and vocational and adult learning institutions. Broadband (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes an unprecedented € 80 M fine to the telecommunications incumbent for abuse of a dominant position on the broadband internet market (France Télécom)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
Lni avocats (Paris)
In November 1999, Neuf Télécom, a telecommunications operator, filed a complaint with the French Competition Council (hereinafter “the Council”) against France Télécom, the French historic telephone and Internet provider, on the grounds that the latter was conducting anti-competitive practices on the (...)

The Swedish Market Court rejects a complaint against the incumbent for abusive mixed bundling and predatory pricing in the broadband internet access sector (B2 Bredband / TeliaSonera)
Cederquist
Background Bredbandsbolaget sues Teliasonera for abuse of a dominant position on the market for fixed telephony through illegal mixed bundling, customer discrimination and predatory pricing but fails to prove dominance. Decision On 1 November 2005 the Swedish Market Court rendered its (...)

The Cypriot Competition Authority imposes a fine for price squeezing and excessive pricing on the Internet services market (CYTA)
International Transport Forum
On 30 May 2005 the Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter C.P.C.) ended its own initiative investigation of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (hereinafter CYTA) by unanimously finding CYTA liable for abuse of its dominant position in the market for the provision (...)

The French Competition Authority dismisses a complaint regarding alleged anticompetitive practices in the sectors for Internet music downloads and digital walkmans (Apple Computer France)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Internet music downloads - The Conseil dismisses VirginMega’s complaint against Apple, due to insufficient evidence in view of the case elements available.* On 28th June 2004, the Conseil de la concurrence (...)

The EU Commission adopts a decision under Article 82 against French internet provider’s pricing policy for ADSL services (Wanadoo)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
,
French Ministry of Economic, Industrial and Numerical Affairs
"Two Commission decisions on price abuse in the telecommunications sector"* During the first half of the year 2003, the Commission adopted two formal prohibition decisions pursuant to Article 82 EC-Treaty regarding abusive pricing for the provision of telecommunications services. Those are the (...)

The French Competition Authority ends ban on ADSL packs provided by telecom incumbent (Wanadoo eXtense)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. High-speed ADSL Internet access : the Conseil de la concurrence lifts the suspension on sales of Wanadoo "eXtense" packs in France Télécom outlets* In a decision dated 19th July 2002, the Conseil lifted the (...)

The French Competition Authority grants interim measures in the ADSL line sector (France Télécom)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. High-speed Internet access via ADSL : the Conseil de la concurrence orders France Télécom to suspend sales of eXtense packs in its outlets* Following a referral by the company T-Online, an Internet service (...)

The French Competition Authority opens an inquiry in the WAP technology sector (France Télécom Mobiles and SFR)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. the Conseil de la concurrence opens an inquiry into practices by France Télécom Mobiles and SFR in the WAP technology sector* In a decision dated 7th November 2000, following a referral by the company (...)

Mergers

A US District Court rules against non-reported acquisition in the market for product ratings and reviews platforms (Bazaarvoice / PowerReviews)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Combination of online consumer review platforms Bazaarvoice and PowerReviews found to violate Clayton Act* Last week, the federal district court in San Francisco ruled that Bazaarvoice Inc.’s June 2012 acquisition of PowerReviews Inc. violated Sec. 7 of the Clayton Act. In a “necessarily lengthy (...)

The EU General Court rejects rival’s claim and gives the green signal for an acquisition in the communications services market (Microsoft / Skype)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi)
By its decision dated 11 December 2013, Luxembourg based European General Court approves the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft. Background On 02.09.2011 the EU Commission was notified of a proposed concentration by which, Microsoft Corporation, USA acquired 100% of the outstanding shares and (...)

The New York Attorney General settles remedies regarding the merger between two leading online food ordering services in Manhattan (Seamless / GrubHub)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
NY Attorney General reaches settlement with two leading online food ordering services in Manhattan* On 5 August 2013 NY Attorney General stated that he reached a settlement with Seamless North America, LLC and GrubHub, two leading online food ordering services in Manhattan, in order to address (...)

The EU General Court upholds fine imposed on energy corporation for failing to notify a transaction highlighting the importance of compliance with EU merger control filing requirements (Electrabel)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
,
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
1. Introduction On 12 December 2012 the EU General Court dismissed Electrabel’s appeal against the €20 million fine the European Commission had imposed on it for failing to notify a transaction - the acquisition of a minority shareholding - to the Commission under the EU Merger Regulation (...)

The US DoJ clears acquisition involving standards-essential patents relevant to wireless devices (Google / Motorola Mobility)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. DOJ clears Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility and other transactions involving standards-essential patents* On 13 February 2012 the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the closing of investigations concerning the acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (“Motorola (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger in the e-commerce sector (Altarea / Rue du commerce)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Rue du Commerce’s sole control by Altarea*. The Autorité de la concurrence examined the acquisition of Rue du Commerce by Altarea, by means of the (...)

The US DoJ closes its investigation and gives green light to $400 M acquisition in the advertising display industry (Google/Admeld)
Sidley Austin (Brussels)
DOJ closes investigation into Google’s acquisition of Admeld Inc.* On December 2, 2011 the DOJ announced its decision to close the investigation into Google’s acquisition of Admeld Inc. allowing Google to complete its $ 400 million merger. The DOJ’s investigation focused on the potential (...)

The US DOJ clears an acquisition subject to conditions in the IT industry (Google / ITA)
Jones Day (Houston)
,
Jones Day (Sillicon Valley)
The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that, to allow Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA Software, DOJ and the parties have agreed to a set of requirements that will govern Google’s future operation of the ITA business. This action is notable as another challenge to a vertical merger and (...)

The German Federal Cartel Office prohibits online video platform joint venture (RTL and Pro7sat1)
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
,
Jones Day (Dusseldorf)
,
Jones Day (Frankfurt)
On March 17, 2011, the German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) rejected plans by German broadcasting groups RTL and Pro7Sat1 to launch a joint venture for the creation and operation of an online video platform. This decision illustrates how in Europe, particularly in Germany, antitrust (...)

The US FTC announces the closure of its investigation of the acquisition of the mobile advertising network company (AdMob)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
U.S. Federal Trade Commission closes its investigation of Google’s acquisition of AdMob* On 21 May 2010 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced the closure of its investigation of Google’s acquisition of the mobile advertising network company AdMob. According to the FTC, though the (...)

The European Commission clears, subject to divestment, the acquisition of a vendor of videoconferencing products with dual headquarters in Norway and in the US by US company (Cisco/Tandberg)
"Merger: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010" On 29 March the Commission approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Tandberg, a vendor of videoconferencing products with dual headquarters in Norway and in the US, by Cisco of the US. The approval is (...)

The European Commission clears, subject to remedies, a merger between French and German telecommunications companies in the UK (Orange/T-Mobile)
"Merger: main developments between 1 January and 30 April 2010" The Commission cleared, 1 March, the proposed merger of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK, respectively France Télécom’s (FT) and Deutsche Telekom’s (DT) UK subsidiaries. The decision is conditional, firstly upon the amendment of an existing (...)

The European Commission clears in phase I a merger in the internet search market addressing the concept of concentration and conducting a detailed two-sided market analysis (Microsoft, Yahoo!Search Business)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
Microsoft/Yahoo! – the concept of a concentration* The Commission’s recent decision approving Microsoft’s acquisition of Yahoo!’s Search Business (including internet search and search advertising) contains an interesting application of the definition of a concentration under the Merger Regulation. (...)

The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina clears a merger of two Internet providers and imposes a fine for submission of incorrect information (Aneks/Ki sistemi)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
Summary The Competition Authority of Bosnia & Herzegovina (Konkurencijsko vijeće) (KV) cleared a merger between two dial-up and broadband internet providers in the cities of Banja Luka and Prijedor imposing a fine for the submission of incorrect information by the merging parties. Facts (...)

The French Minister of Economy requires commitments to address possible horizontal and conglomerate effects in a merger of a mobile network and pay-TV operator and an Internet service provider (SFR/Neuf Cegetel)
RBB Economics (Brussels)
,
RBB Economics
Introduction On 15 April 2008, the French Minister of Economy (hereafter, the Minister) cleared the proposed acquisition by Société Française du Radiotéléphone (SFR) of a majority share of Neuf Cegetel, subject to remedies. The transaction raised conglomerate issues in the markets for broadband (...)

The European Commission clears merger in the online advertising market applying for the first time the non horizontal merger guidelines (Google, DoubleClick)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
European Commission - DG CNECT
"Google/DoubleClick: The first test for the Commission’s nonhorizontal merger guidelines"* I. Introduction The Google/DoubleClickmerger generated considerable interest as it concerned the ubiquitous search engine that most Europeans use in their daily lives. From a competition policy (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice finds that merger prohibition decisions can still be appealed even after the parties abandoned the transaction (Springer, ProSiebenSat.1 Media)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In a recently published judgment of 25 September 2007, the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) annulled a decision of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf which rejected an appeal against a prohibition decision of the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) because the parties had already (...)

The French Minister of Economy clears in Phase I with behavioural commitments a merger in the Internet classified advertisements market (Spir Communication / Schibsted ASA)
University Paris II Panthéon‑Assas
The operation By a letter of 10 09 2007, the Minister cleared in phase I a merger between Spir and Schibsted compagnies. It created a jointly owned compagny between the notifying parties. The new company controls both parties’ activities in the sector of classified advertisements for the sale of (...)

The Latvian Competition Council clears a merger in the markets for data transmission services and Internet access services subject to divestiture remedies (Lattelecom/Microlink Latvia)
Raidla Lejins & Norcous (Riga)
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Cobalt Legal (Riga)
The operation On 30 May 2005 the Latvian Competition Council received from Lattelecom SIA a merger notification. In the merger notification Lattelecom SIA informed the Competition Council that on 16 May 2005 a Future Purchase Agreement was signed between Estonian company Elion Ettevotted AS, (...)

The Norwegian Competition Authority accepts a merger in the broadband telecommunications sector, subject to the divestment of a business unit (Telenor / Tiscali)
Ernst & Young
The operation Telenor Telecom Solutions AS (Telenor) acquired the entire share capital of in Tiscali AS on 23 August 2004. Telenor Telecom Solutions AS and Tiscali AS provide broadband services in Norway. The market(s) concerned by remedy(ies) The relevant markets defined by the Norwegian (...)

The German Bundeskartellamt clears a merger in the online travel agency industry (Bild.de / T-Online)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
European Commission - DG ECFIN
"Internet Joint Ventures and the Quest for Exclusive Content: The T-Online Cases"* Introduction EC and national competition law issues arising from the marketing of ‘premium’ content, such as travel services and sports news, via the Internet were at the centre of several recent competition (...)

The US FTC prevents the closing of a merger between two major online job boards and suggests that relevant market is limited to online job services (Monster/Hotjobs)
WilmerHale (Washington)
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Williams & Connolly
In June 2001, TMP Worldwide, owner of the dominant online job board “Monster.com,” agreed to purchase the second largest online job board, “HotJobs.” Rather than permitting the merger to go forward as scheduled, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) prevented the closing indefinitely until the parties (...)

The European Commission starts an in-depth investigation into a planned online travel agency leading the parties to change the structure of their venture and to withdraw the merger (T-Online, TUI and C&N)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
,
European Commission - DG ECFIN
"Internet Joint Ventures and the Quest for Exclusive Content: The T-Online Cases"* Introduction EC and national competition law issues arising from the marketing of ‘premium’ content, such as travel services and sports news, via the Internet were at the centre of several recent competition (...)

The European Commission refers to the Italian competition authorities the examination of the impact of a proposed acquisition on the Italian electricity sector (Infostrada/Enel/France Telecom)
European Commission - DG ECFIN
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
,
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
"Merger Control: Main developments between 1st January 2001 and 30th April 2001"* The Commission decided to refer to the Italian competition authorities – Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato – the examination of the impact of the proposed acquisition of Infostrada by Enel and France (...)

The European Commission approves merger between French and Canadian companies in the broadcasting industry (Vivendi/Canal Plus/Seagram)
Service européen pour l’action extérieure (EEAS)
,
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger Control: main developments between 1st September 2000 and 31st December 2000"* In October, the Commission approved the acquisition by French telecommunications and media company Vivendi and its subsidiary Canal+ of Canada’s Seagram. The transaction significantly affected three markets, (...)

The European Commission clears a merger in the entertainment industry creating the first vertically-integrated Internet content provider (AOL/Time Warner)
Conseil régional de Midi-Pyrénées
"The Commission’s review of the media merger wave"* The media industry involves a wide and diversified set of activities vertically related. Indeed, different players such as content providers, rights holders and content distributors all operate in the value chain from the production of content (...)

The European Commission conditionally approves the creation of an Internet portal joint-venture (Vizzavi/Vodafone/Vivendi/Canal Plus)
Service européen pour l’action extérieure (EEAS)
,
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger Control: main developments between 1st May 2000 and 31st August 2000"* Regulatory clearance for the creation of the Vizzavi Internet portal joint venture between Vodafone, Vivendi and Canal+ was made possible after the companies submitted commitments to ensure rival Internet portals (...)

The European Commission prohibits the merger between two US telecommunications companies (MCI WorldCom/Sprint)
Service européen pour l’action extérieure (EEAS)
,
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
,
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Merger Control: main developments between 1st May 2000 and 31st August 2000"* The Commission decided to prohibit the merger between US telecommunications firms MCI WorldCom Inc and Sprint Corp as it would have resulted in the creation of a dominant position in the market for top-level (...)

The Greek Competition Commission clears a merger in the telecommunications sector subject to non-exclusive appearance of an undertaking name on the internet site (EFG Eurobank, Infoquest, Unifon/Com Quest)
Zepos & Yannopoulos
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos
,
Zepos & Yannopoulos
The operation The Hellenic Competition Commission approved, by virtue of its decision 129/II/2000 dated 25 April, 2000, the acquisition of joint control of the company “COM QUEST S.A.” by the companies “EFG EUROBANK S.A.”, “INFOQUEST AEVE” and “UNIFON S.A.”. The shareholding structure of the company (...)

The European Commission authorizes the creation of joint venture in the publishing industry (BOL Spain/Bertelsmann/Planeta Corporación)
European Commission (DG NEAR)
"Commission authorises creation of joint venture BOL Spain by Bertelsmann AG and Planeta Corporación S.R.L."* The European Commission has cleared the concentration between Bertelsmann AG and Planeta Corporación S.R.L. Through this operation the parties will obtain joint control over Books (...)

State Aids

The European Commission approves public co-financing of broadband network covering the entire French department of Hauts-de-Seine, including the non-profitable areas
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* On 30 September 2009, the European Commission approved public co-financing of the roll-out of a passive, neutral and open broadband network covering the entire French department of Hauts-de-Seine, including the (...)

The European Commission adopts guidelines on application of State aid rules to the public funding of broadband networks
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"State aid: main developments between 1 September and 31 December 2009"* The European Commission has adopted Guidelines on application of state aid rules to the public funding of broadband networks. Over the last five years, the Commission has adopted more than 40 individual decisions (...)

The Danish Competition Authority concludes to the existence of an unlawful aid in application of s. 11a Competition Act in relation to subsidies granted to an internet portal on the grounds that the commercial and non-commercial parts of the website were not sufficiently distinguished (Portal Fyn.dk)
Lexxion Publisher
Factual Background The internet portal was developed in 2003 with the purpose of promoting the island of Funen as an attractive place to live, work and visit. The portal contains all kinds of information of both commercial and non-commercial nature (ranging from information on education, (...)

Procedures

The Brussels Commercial Court issues injunction order against recently launched peer-to-peer car sharing service on the taxi market in Brussels (UberPop)
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation
Competition & Taxis: A Few Uber Updates & Why Taxis are Like Typewriters* I’m getting closer to being a middle-aged guy – well, closer to middle age than a young guy. As such, I remember some of those things that commercials sometimes mock middle aged guys (or older guys than me yet) for (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority initiates an inquiry into the online room reservation sector
European Commission (Brussels)
Hungary: Launch of Inquiry into Online Room Reservations Sector* On 29 July 2013, the GVH (the Hungarian Competition Authority) initiated an inquiry into the online room reservation sector. The objective pursued by the GVH is to become familiar with and evaluate the processes involved in the (...)

The UK High Court opts for targeted disclosure in private stand-alone claim against web search engine provider (Foundem / Google)
The University of Manchester
Background On 30 November 2010, the EU Commission (the “Commission”) announced that it had opened an investigation into allegations that Google has abused its dominant position, contrary to Article 102 TFEU, following multiple complaints. On 21 May 2012, the Commission published its preliminary (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes results of sector inquiry into e-commerce
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la concurrence publishes Results of Sector Inquiry into e-commerce* On 18 September 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) published the findings of its inquiry into e-commerce which 30 million French people have used in 2011. Focus was put on electrical (...)

A Canadian Court of Appeal challenges over potentially defamatory language in website press release posting (TPG Technology Consulting Ltd and Donald Powell v Canada)
Canadian International Joint Commission
Introduction The Ontario Court of Appeal (the "court") said Canada’s Competition Bureau (the "Bureau"), which assists the Commissioner of Competition in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (the "Act"), used potentially defamatory language in a 2009 press release website (...)

The EU Commission publishes a notice regarding commitments dealing with restrictions as regards licensing practices (Thomson Reuters)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
Thomson Reuters offers commitments to close investigation by European Commission* On 14 December 2011 the European Commission published a notice inviting comments on commitments offered by Thomson Reuters that address concerns about whether its licensing practices, in relation to the Reuters (...)

The European Commission prepares the questionnaires for the reassessment of the competition rules applicable to Internet commerce
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
It has been reported that the Commission is currently preparing questionnaires in the context of its reassessment of the competition rules applicable to Internet commerce in view of the expiry of the Vertical Agreements Block Exemption Regulation in May 2010. These questionnaires will be sent (...)

Regulations

The French Competition Authority receives commitments from a railway company aiming at ending the competition concerns identified in the distribution of train tickets sector (SNCF and voyages-sncf.com)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The SNCF makes progress on the path to the equitable treatment of its voyages-sncf.com website and travel agencies* Within the scope of a procedure initiated before the Autorité de la concurrence, SNCF has (...)

The Netherlands ACM allows blocking certain internet services on board of trains of Dutch railway company as an exception from the net neutrality rule (T-Mobile)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Telecom company T-Mobile is allowed to restrict free internet access on board trains* The Netherlands Authority for Consumer and Markets (ACM) has concluded that Dutch telecom company T-Mobile is allowed to block certain services such as YouTube and Spotify on the free Wi-Fi-network on board (...)

The French Competition Authority issues a number of recommendations on the optical fibre roll-out
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. At the request of the Senate, the Autorité de la concurrence reminds public authorities of the competitive framework within which they can participate in the roll-out of very high speed broadband via (...)

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) publishes a draft on internet information service rules
University of Melbourne
,
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
,
Institute of American Studies
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT): Provisions on the Administration of Internet Information Services (Draft for Comments)* The MIIT published and invited public comments on the draft Provisions on the Administration of Internet Information Services (Internet Information (...)

The French Competition Authority welcomes social tariff for broadband internet access
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la concurrence welcomes social Tariff for broadband Internet Access* Pursuant to a request of the French Minister of Economy, the French Competition Authority, Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité), issued on 29 June 2011 an opinion on a bill on the implementation of a (...)

The French Competition Authority issues its first opinion on the telecom sector, taking into account the European Commission’s recommendation concerning competitive aspects of wholesale broadband internet services
European Commission (Brussels)
France: The Autorité de la concurrence issues its first Opinion on the Telecom Sector, taking into account the recently published European Commission’s NGA Recommendation* On 8 March 2011, following a request by the French telecom sector regulator (ARCEP), the Autorité de la concurrence (the (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority publishes a report on collective instalment of broadband internet or cable-TV
European Commission (Brussels)
Sweden: Research Report on Collective Instalment of Broadband Internet or Cable-TV In October 2009, the Swedish Competition Authority published a report in which an economic analysis of the effects on competition from collective instalment of broadband internet or cable TV was carried out. (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on TV content access exclusivity offers by Internet service providers
French Competition Authority (Paris)
TV content access exclusivity offers by Internet service providers: The Autorité de la concurrence states its position*. Exclusive access must remain an exceptional solution, strictly limited in time and scope. Auto-distribution appears to be a satisfactory balancing solution, to the benefit (...)

A French Civil Court considers that the leading online auctions website must benefit from the “host” legal statute created by the French Law for trust in numerical economy (L’Oréal/eBay)
EDHEC Business School
eBay Inc., technical host of the website ebay.fr, eBay International, which runs the services proposed on ebay.fr, eBay Europe, which is the co-contractor of sellers and buyers (located in the EU) on eBay, eBay France, which is the advertising agency and the contact of French internet users of (...)

The Paris Court of appeals rules that Google makes an illegal use of trademarks through its keywords advertising program (GIFAM / Google)
Google (Paris)
Google has been sued in France by several household appliance manufacturers and their professional union, and fined for using said manufacturers’ trademarks in its keywords advertising tool. Among thirty decisions issued by French courts against the search engine over its AdWords service, this (...)

The Polish Supreme Court issues a controversial judgment setting strict restrictions for registration of Internet publications (Szycie po Przemysku)
Kochanski Zieba Rapala & Partners
Polish Supreme Court (Sad Najwyzszy), 26 July 2007, Case n° IV KK 174/07 The Supreme Court decision related to internet publications may cause restrictions in freedom of competition within the internet publications market. Surprisingly, the restrictions will base not on the provisions of law (...)

The Polish telecom regulator wishes to impose ex ante obligations on Internet interconnection (Telekomunikacja Polska)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Background reminder The Internet is often called the “network of networks”. A local Internet Service Provider (ISP) wishing to offer Internet services to end-users has to connect with other networks in order to allow his end-users to exchange traffic with other end users or content providers (...)

The European Commission launches sector inquiry into the sale of sports rights to Internet and 3G mobile operators
Cisco (Paris)
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"Using the instrument of sector-wide inquiries: inquiry into content for 3G services"* 1. The importance of a proactive approach in the antitrust field, especially regarding emerging markets DG Competition has launched a comprehensive rethinking of the use of its instruments. This has been (...)

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