Barriers to entry in the digital market

General antitrust

The Italian Competition Authority proposes pro-competitive legislative changes to the Government
Hogan Lovells (Milan)
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Hogan Lovells (Milan)
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Hogan Lovells (Milan)
The document provides a summary of the proposal for pro-competitive legislative changes submitted by the Italian Competition Authority to the Italian Government on 23 March 2021. The Italian Competition Authority identifies eight trajectories of possible reform: 1. Measures to encourage and (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority publishes a report which covers the increasing influence of digital platforms within the field of competition law
Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
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Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
In February 2021 the Swedish Competition Authority (“SCA”) published a report which covers the increasing influence of digital platforms within the field of competition law. Themes of the report In its report, the SCA has analysed five markets along with the SCA´s previous decisional practice (...)

The Singapore Competition Authority publishes a market study on e-commerce platforms
Bird & Bird (Singapore)
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Bird & Bird (Singapore)
Digital platforms have experienced significant growth and popularity in Singapore in recent years and COVID-19 has accelerated its proliferation. The rapid pace of innovation and broad adoption of these platforms have raised significant competition concerns both local and abroad. In September (...)

The Singapore Competition Authority publishes its findings and recommendations from its market study on e-commerce platforms
Ashurst (Sydney)
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Ashurst (Singapore)
On 10 September 2020, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore ("CCCS") published its findings and recommendations from its market study on e-commerce platforms. While the market study did not identify any significant competition concerns in the sector, the CCCS has concurrently (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority issues a report on competition law in the data economy
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
FCCA: Competition and consumer protection are fundamental to data economy* With the market for digital products and services is growing, the functionality of competition and consumer protection are important considerations. A report by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA), (...)

The EU Commission publishes its final report following its e-commerce sector inquiry as part of a larger digital market strategy that aims to achieve better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services
Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 10 May 2017 the EU Commission published its final report in the e-commerce sector inquiry launched in May 2015 as part of a wider Digital Market Strategy which aims to achieve better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services across the EU. The aim of the sector inquiry (...)

The EU Commission publishes its preliminary report on its e-commerce inquiry and opens a two months public consultation
Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Baker Botts (Washington)
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Baker Botts (Brussels)
Last week the European Commission (“Commission”) published its eagerly awaited preliminary report on the e-commerce sector inquiry (the “Report”) and opened a two-month public consultation on the Report. In this alert, we explain the background to the Report, the Commission’s main findings, and (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an unfavorable opinion concerning draft orders for online sales of medicinal products
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence issues an unfavourable opinion to the government.* The envisaged "good practice" create a discriminatory system in comparison with the conditions required for over-the-counter sales, removing all interest in the sale medicinal products on the Internet, both for (...)

The ECN Competition Working Group on Competition Law gathers to discuss matters related to vertical restraints in the online sector
European Commission (Brussels)
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 OECD holds a roundtable on competition and payment systems
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
In light of the written submissions and the oral discussion, the following points emerge: (1) An aim of competition enforcement is to identify, stop and deter anti-competitive arrangements and behaviour by market participants, particularly when it has a direct impact on consumer welfare. In (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority publishes a report on the collective installment of broadband internet or cable TV
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
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 regarding exclusive access offers to TV content by internet service providers
Autorité de la concurrence (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 of (...)

The EU Commission prepares questionnaires for the reassessment of the competition rules applicable to online 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 (...)

The EU Commission holds a roundtable on Internet commerce
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a Commission’s Press Release of 17 October 2008, the Commission held a roundtable with consumer and industry representatives in order to discuss the need to reform the competition rules applicable to Internet commerce. This group of stakeholders will produce a report for the (...)

Anticompetitive practices

The Russian Competition Authority initiates an investigation against a national internet-based service provider (Yandex)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
The FAS Russia has initiated case against Yandex* The company has not fulfilled the warning of the FAS Russia on termination of discriminatory conditions in the market of web search On February 20, 2021 the FAS Russia issued a warning to Yandex LLC, according to which the organization had a (...)

The Danish Competition Authority and other competition authorities publish a joint memorandum on online pharmacy markets in the Nordics
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Nordic Competition Authorities: Online pharmacies can increase competition in the pharmacy sector* The Nordic Competition Authorities have 14.4.2021 published a joint memorandum on online pharmacy markets in the Nordics. The memorandum finds that the size and regulation of online pharmacy (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation on two giant tech companies for implementing a competition-restricting agreement (Apple / Amazon)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: investigation launched against Apple and Amazon for banning the sale of Apple- and Beats-branded products to retailers who do not join the official programme* Italian Competition Authority launched an investigation pursuant to Article 101 TFUE against the companies in the Apple Inc. and (...)

The Italian Competition Authority announces the opening of an investigation against two Big Tech firms for violation of Article 101 TFEU (Apple / Amazon)
Bird & Bird (Rome)
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Bird & Bird (Rome)
On 22 July, the Italian Competition Authority (the "ICA") announced it had opened an investigation against Apple and Amazon for an alleged violation of article 101 TFEU. Following a complaint received in February 2019 from a retailer who was banned from reselling products on the Amazon market, (...)

The German Competition Authority approves a sports retail company’s joint distribution platform (Intersport)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 June 2020, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) approved Intersport’s online distribution model through a joint online platform under the Intersport umbrella brand for small retailers. Intersport is the world’s largest association of medium-sized companies in the sports retail sector. Its (...)

The Indian Competition Authority approves a deal between an online platform and a telecom network provider aiming at providing local grocery stores access to e-commerce services (Facebook / JIO)
Saikrishna (New Delhi)
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National University of Study and Research in Law (Ranchi)
Background The Indian antitrust watchdog Competition Commission of India (‘CCI’) approved the popular Facebook-JIO deal (‘the deal’) on June 25, 2020. The approval came two months after Facebook announced to invest whopping $5.7 billion in Reliance Industries Limited’s (‘RIL’) subsidiary JIO (...)

The German Competition Authority approves a sports retailer’s online platform (Intersport)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Intersport, the world’s largest association of medium-sized retailers of sport products, switched its online sales platform operated by the Intersport subsidiary Intersport Digital GmbH (“IDG”) to a so-called "drop shipment business model". Although the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) found that the (...)

The Hong Kong Competition Authority launches a public consultation on the commitments offered by three online travel agents to remove certain parity clauses in their contracts with accommodation providers (Booking.com / Expedia / Trip.com)
Hogan Lovells (Hong Kong)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Hong Kong)
On 31 March 2020 the Hong Kong Competition Commission (HKCC) commenced a public consultation on the commitments offered by three online travel agents (OTAs) to remove certain parity clauses in their existing and future contracts with accommodation providers in Hong Kong. The consultation period (...)

The Spanish Supreme Court rules that ride-hailing services do not restrict competition and the restrictions imposed on them are unjustified and disproportionate (VTCs)
Ecija & Asociados (Madrid)
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Bird & Bird (Madrid)
The ongoing conflict between ride-hailing services (known in Spain as "VTCs"), such as Uber, and the taxi sector has led to a new ruling from the Spanish Supreme Court that confirms the view of the Spanish Competition Authority (the "CNMC") that the restrictions imposed on the VTCs are (...)

The German Competition Authority declares certain online banking rules violate European and German competition law (Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Restriction of online payment services by German banking industry in violation of competition law* The Bundeskartellamt has declared certain rules in the online banking conditions of the German Banking Industry Committee (Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft) as illegal. The authority holds the view that (...)

The EU Court of Justice and several National Competition Authorities adopt decisions regarding Most Favoured Nation clauses and rebate schemes that are relevant and applicable in the context of ASEAN competition law (Booking.com / Post Danmark)
Rajah & Tann (Singapore)
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Rajah & Tann (Singapore)
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McCarter & English (Washington)
This article has been nominated for the 2016 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Introduction As we move into the second half of the year, we examine two recent competition enforcement cases in Europe, and consider their relevance and (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the object-effect dichotomy and deals with two-sided markets (Groupement des Cartes Bancaires)
University of Groningen
It Takes Two to Tango: Two-Sided Markets and the Appeals in Cartes Bancaires and MasterCard* The Court has recently decided on the appeals in two seminal cases: MasterCard MIF (MasterCard) and Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (CB). Both cases result from Commission decisions that found Article (...)

The French Competition Authority receives commitments from a railway company aiming at ending the competition concerns identified in the train ticket distribution sector (SNCF)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
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 proposed a series of commitments designed to make voyages-sncf.com and competing travel (...)

The German Competition Authority forbids a most favored nation clause to apply and orders its removal from the contracts between hotels and booking portals (HRS)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Online hotel portal HRS’s ’best price’ clause violates competition law – Proceedings also initiated against other hotel portals* Bonn, 20 December 2013: Today the Bundeskartellamt prohibited HRS from continuing to apply its ’best price’ clause (most favoured nation clause) and ordered the company to (...)

The German Competition Authority closes its proceedings against an online book trader for enforcing price parity clauses on its marketplace platform (Amazon)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Amazon abandons price parity clauses for good* 26 November 2013: The Bundeskartellamt has today terminated its proceedings against Amazon for enforcing price parity clauses on its Marketplace platform after the company had met the requirements set by the authority. Andreas Mundt, President of (...)

The German Competition Authority closes its investigation against an online book trader for price parity clauses (Amazon)
Ashurst (Milan)
Amazon Marketplace ends price parity* On 26 November 2013, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued a press release stating that it has closed the investigation into Amazon’s “price parity” clauses applied in agreements with traders that operated on its Marketplace platform. In fact, on 27 and (...)

The UK Competition Authority establishes vertical restrictions on the market for the supply of mobility scooters (Roma Medical Aids)
Max Findlay (London)
Not playing nicely* Recently, there have been two striking cases of organisations behaving badly in a way that the outside world would think was well out of order. In the first example – the Roma Medical Aids case – it isn’t just about somebody breaking the rules. It’s about a company acting in a (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority initiates a sector inquiry on the online room reservation market in 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 continues to view the best price clause used by a hotel booking portal in a critical manner (HRS)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt continues to view HRS’s best price clause critically* The Bundeskartellamt has confirmed its competition concerns about the best price clause used by the hotel booking portal HRS. After examining the statements of HRS and all other relevant market participants, the (...)

The German Competition Authority expresses concerns about best-price clauses for an internet platform operator (HRS)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
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 UK Competition Authority issues a statement of objections against two online travel agents and one hotel group for alleged restrictive practices (IHG / Expedia / Booking.com)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
United Kingdom: The Office of Fair Trading issues Statement of Objections against Booking.com, Expedia and Intercontinental Hotels Group* On 31 July 2012, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a Statement of Objections alleging that Booking. com B.V. (Booking.com), Expedia Inc (Expedia) and (...)

The EU Commission opens formal proceedings to investigate alleged anti-competitive practices by five major international publishers in the e-book sales sector (Hachette Livre /Harper Collins / Simon & Schuster / Penguin / Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck)
Sidley Austin (Brussels)
Is Apple forcing customers to pay more for e-books? - Global developments in the alleged e-book price-fixing case* European investigations On December 6, 2011 the European Commission announced that it opened formal proceedings to examine whether five major international publishers (Hachette (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts commitments to address competition concerns in the discount coupons sector (HighCo / Sogec / Perifem)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence accepts commitments enabling all market operators to use Webcoupon or to develop equivalent solutions* After a referral by the Institut de liaisons et d’études des industries de consommation (ILEC), and the company Ma Liste de Courses (MLDC), which complained of the (...)

Unilateral Practices

The Indian Competition Authority grants interim relief to hotel franchisees in the online travel agents’ market (MMT-GO / Treebo / FabHotels)
Khaitan (New Delhi)
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Khaitan (New Delhi)
Although India’s competition law has contained an interim measure provision since inception, two things stood about the Competition Commission’s (“Commission”) usage of interim measures – (i) the overall frequency (or lack) of its usage; and (ii) its limited usage in a low shelf-life Bollywood (...)

The German Parliament passes its 10th amendment of the Act against Restraints of Competition which creates an enforcement tool for the Competition Authority to control the abusive behavior of companies with a paramount cross-market significance for competition
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Dusseldorf)
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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Dusseldorf)
New enforcement tool for the German Federal Cartel Office in the control of abusive behavior of companies with a paramount cross-market significance for competition In a nutshell: What’s new? Introduction of the Concept of Intermediation Power: A dominant position can as of now also result from (...)

The German Parliament passes the 10th amendment to the Act against Restraints of Competition which provides modifications and changes regarding abuse control
Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
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Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
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Hogan Lovells (Dusseldorf)
On 14 January 2021, the German parliament passed the long-awaited 10th amendment to the Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC). This came after the governing parties, CDU/CSU and SPD, had submitted a final amendment "at the eleventh hour" which provided for some additional modifications (...)

The Indian Competition Authority receives an anonymous complaint on alleged dominance by a Big Tech company through the Android ecosystem (Google)
National University of Study and Research in Law (Ranchi)
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National University of Study and Research in Law (Ranchi)
Introduction Pursuant to the scrutiny of WhatsApp over allegation of abusive dominance regarding its Payment app, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) warranted a detailed investigation against Google to monitor its anti-competitive practices over multiple facets including a violation of (...)

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal rules that there is no abuse of dominance by one of the largest real estate agencies in the Netherlands (VBO / NVM / Funda)
Leiden Law School (Hague)
In its judgment, on the 26th May 2020, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal (‘the Court’) ruled that there is no abuse of Funda’s dominant position. The Court hereby dismissed the claim which had been filed by VBO Estate Agents in The Netherlands against Funda. This judgment ended a six-year-old dispute (...)

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal finds an absence of an abuse of dominance by one of the largest real estate agencies in the Netherlands (VBO / NVM / Funda)
Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
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Bird & Bird (Amsterdam)
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Bird & Bird (The Hague)
On 26 May 2020, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal (“Court”) delivered its judgment in a dispute between the real estate association VBO Makelaars (“VBO”) versus the Dutch Association of Real Estate Agents (“NVM”) over the online real estate platform of Funda Real Estate (“Funda”). The Court assumed that (...)

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal dismisses a claim that a real estate agent association’s self-preferencing strategy is abusive because the competitive position remained unaffected (VBO / NVM / Funda)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 May 2020, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal (the “Court”) handed down its judgment in the dispute between the real estate agent association VBO (“VBO”) and Funda Real Estate (“Funda”) and the Dutch Association of Real Estate Agents (“NVM”). The Court upheld the judgment of the District Court finding (...)

The French Competition Authority imposes interim measures on a big tech company following a complaint alleging abuse of its dominant position on the online search advertising market (Amadeus / Google)
Bird & Bird (Paris)
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Bird & Bird (Paris)
On January 31st 2019, the French Competition Authority (“the FCA”) imposed interim measures on Google following a complaint lodged in May 2018 by Amadeus (a company offering directory enquiry services) alleging that Google had abused its dominant position on the online search advertising market (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority finds that a real estate and vehicle sales online platform abused its dominant position through implementing excessive prices (Sahibinden.com)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case note analyses the Turkish Competition Board’s (“Board”) recently published Sahibinden.com decision of October 1st, 2018 numbered 18-36/584-285 in which the Board assessed whether Sahibinden Bilgi Teknolojileri Paz. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Sahibinden.com”) –an online platform which acts as an (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority follows the EU Commission’s footsteps in the search engines’ battles (Google)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
The tech giant Google has been under the Turkish Competition Authority’s (“TCA”) scrutiny due to its practices in the market for licensable mobile operating systems and under the judicial review since July 2015. In September 2018, the TCA has finally released its short decision and imposed a fine (...)

The UK Competition Authority accepts commitments relating to platform services for the automotive sector (Epyx)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
United Kingdom: The Competition and Markets Authority accepts Commitments relating to Platform Services for Automotive Sector* On 9 September 2014, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) accepted final commitments offered by Epyx Limited (Epyx) relating to service, maintenance and repair (...)

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 (PMU)
Ashurst (Milan)
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 French Competition Authority accepts the commitments submitted by 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 (PMU)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence has obtained a commitment from the PMU, which will separate its online horserace betting activity from its network of points of sale under monopoly. With this decision, the Autorité ensures that diversified legal supply is maintained, to the consumer’s benefit, on (...)

The EU Commission obtains a new proposal on commitments in the context of an ongoing antitrust investigation on online searches and advertising (Google)
Ashurst (Milan)
Improved Google commitments (closer to) getting the thumbs up from the European Commission* On 5 February 2014, the European Commission issued a press release and a memo concerning the improved commitments proposed by Google (the commitments were made public by Google itself). At a press (...)

The French Competition Authority receives commitments from an incumbent betting company to distinguish its online horserace betting activities from those in physical outlets (PMU)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
PMU proposes commitments in order to distinguish its online horserace betting activities from those dealing with horserace betting in physical outlets* Following a complaint lodged by Betclic Everest Group (hereinafter Betclic) with the Autorité de la concurrence, the PMU proposed separating (...)

The EU Commission carries out a market test of commitments in its investigation of the 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 EU Commission considers that the commitments proposed by the dominant undertaking in the worldwide market for consolidated real-time data feeds were sufficient to address the abusive restrictions concerning the use of financial instrument codes (Thomson Reuters)
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The Thomson Reuters Commitment Decision* On November 12, 2013, the European Commission published a summary of its December 20, 2012 decision (the “Decision”) accepting commitments offered by members of the Thomson Reuters group (“Thomson Reuters”). The Decision ended a three-year-long (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion concerning the dominant position of a search engine company in the market for online advertising (Google)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
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 provide a response to the competitive stakes brought to light by the actors, without the (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce receives requests for review in the internet industry (Baidu / Tencent) New
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 issues an interim decision and opens an investigation to ascertain abuse of dominance by refusing to display advertising (Google / Navx)
Ashurst (Milan)
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 Italian Competition Authority publishes commitments offered to put an end to an antitrust investigation under article 102 TFEU concerning the use of newspaper content (Google Italy)
Ashurst (Milan)
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 investigates alleged abuse of dominance in the market for online advertising (Google Italy)
Ashurst (Milan)
Italian Competition Authority investigates Google’s alleged abuse in the market for online advertising* On 26 August 2009, the Italian Competition Authority opened an investigation (see also press release of 27 August 2009) to determine whether Google is abusing its dominant position in online (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority establishes that the telecom incumbent abused its dominant position on the ADSL Internet market (Magyar Telekom)
Hogan Lovells (Budapest)
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 French Competition Authority dismisses a complaint regarding alleged anticompetitive practices in the sectors for internet music downloads and digital walkmans (Apple)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
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 received a complaint from the company VirginMega regarding practices by the company Apple (...)

Mergers

The US DoJ sues to block a global credit card company’s proposed acquisition of a leading financial data aggregation company (Visa / Plaid)
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Sues to Block Visa’s Proposed Acquisition of Plaid* Acquisition Would Eliminate Nascent Competitor Plaid and Prevent Disruption of Visa’s Monopoly in Online Debit Today, the Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to stop Visa Inc.’s $5.3 billion acquisition of (...)

The Australian Competition Authority releases its statement of issues by expressing preliminary concerns over a proposed acquisition that would entrench an online platform’s dominant position in the supply of data-dependent health services and ad tech services (Google / Fitbit)
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
On 18 June 2020, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its Statement of Issues in relation to Google LLC’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit, expressing its concerns that the acquisition may further entrench Google’s dominant position in the supply of data-dependent (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM releases a company from conditions previously imposed in an e-commerce merger (Wal-Mart / Yihaodian)
China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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University of Melbourne
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University of Melbourne
On 30 May 2016, the MOFCOM decided to release Wal-Mart from the conditions that it had imposed on Wal- Mart’s acquisition of Yihaodian in 2012. Wal-Mart had applied for release from these conditions in July 2015. When the MOFCOM conditionally approved Wal-Mart’s acquisition in 2012, the (...)

The French Competition Authority conditionally clears an acquisition of sole control on the pay-TV market (Canal Plus Overseas / Mediaserv)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
Subject to a number of commitments, the Autorité de la concurrence has cleared the acquisition of Mediaserv by Canal Plus Overseas, a subsidiary of the Canal Plus Group* The Autorité de la concurrence has cleared, subject to a number of commitments, the exclusive takeover by the Canal Plus (...)

The US FTC seeks divestiture and conduct remedies before approving an acquisition in the highly concentrated market of commercial real estate information (CoStar / Loopnet)
Venable (New York)
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Venable (Washington)
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Venable (Washington)
After a year of scrutiny, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) resolved its competitive concerns over the merger of two firms that provide commercial real estate (CRE) listings and other data. In April 2011, CoStar Group, Inc. announced plans to acquire LoopNet, Inc. for approximately $860 (...)

The US FTC imposes divestiture and unusual conduct remedies to protect competition after an acquisition in commercial real estate databases and information services (CoStar / Loopnet)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
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Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Washington)
On April 26, 2012, the FTC challenged CoStar Group’s proposed $860 million acquisition of LoopNet and accepted a settlement that required not only divestitures, but also “unusual” additional conduct remedies. CoStar is the largest provider of commercial real estate (CRE) information services in (...)

The Chinese MOFCOM enforces telecom regulations in a merger review (Wal-Mart / Yihaodian)
Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti (New York)
The notification for the Wal-Mart/Yihaodian transaction was submitted to China’s Ministry of Commerce on 16 December 2011. It was ultimately accepted on 16 February 2012 by MOFCOM after supplementation. At the expiration of the Phase III, or extended Phase II, period, on 13 August 2012, MOFCOM (...)

The US District Court for the District of Columbia conditionally approves a vertical merger upon the implementation of structural and behavioral remedies in the market for primary ticketing services (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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Crowell & Moring (Washington)
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United Airlines (Chicago)
U.S. antitrust agencies, in a flurry of recent actions, have reinvigorated vertical merger enforcement, claiming competitive harm from what, in the past, would potentially have been viewed as efficiency-enhancing vertical integration. The Department of Justice (“DOJ”), in particular, has (...)

The US District Court for the District of Columbia seeks to divest part of a business and requires a licensing of software to mitigate the anticompetitive effects of a merger in the ticketing services industry (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Cologne)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Washington)
After a decade of what was perceived by many as relatively restrained merger enforcement, the Obama administration has repeatedly and vocally vowed to “reinvigorate antitrust enforcement” and to “take effective action to stop or restructure mergers that are likely to harm consumer[s]”. Many (...)

The US District Court for the District of Columbia demands divestiture and licensing to create two new competitors and imposes conduct remedies to limit the benefits of vertical integration in a merger in the primary ticketing services market (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
Kelley Drye & Warren (Washington)
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Kelley Drye & Warren (New York)
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Kelley Drye & Warren (Washington)
The Department of Justice Antitrust Division (“DoJ”), along with 17 state attorneys general, reached an agreement with the parties last week that allows the merger of Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. (“Ticketmaster”) and Live Nation, Inc. (“Live Nation”) to proceed. The parties agreed to a (...)

The US District Court for the District of Columbia imposes divestiture and behavioral remedies before approving a merger to maintain competition in the market for primary ticketing services (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
Robins Kaplan (Minneapolis)
According to conventional wisdom, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission prefer structural merger remedies like divestiture over remedies that require ongoing monitoring of post-merger conduct. Structural remedies offer comparative ease of implementation and require (...)

The EU Commission clears in phase I a merger in the internet search market while addressing the concept of concentration and conducting a detailed two-sided market analysis (Microsoft / Yahoo!)
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 UK OFT refers a vertical merger to the Competition Authority based on horizontal concerns (Ticketmaster / Live Nation)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
On 11 June 2009, the Office of Fair Trading ("OFT") announced that it had decided to refer the proposed merger of Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc ("Ticketmaster") and Live Nation Inc ("Live Nation") to the Competition Commission ("CC") for an in-depth investigation. Despite the fact that there (...)

Procedures

The German Federal Court of Justice upholds the Competition Authority’s decision finding that certain online banking associations infringed competition law by imposing T&C on online payments preventing customers from entering their codes when accessing third party payments (Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 7 April 2020, the German Federal Court of Justice (the “FCJ”) issued its judgment on an appeal against a decision of the Federal Cartel Office (the “FCO”) which had found that a number of German banking associations had infringed competition law in connection with general terms and conditions of (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismisses the first blockchain antitrust case for alleged abuse of dominance position related to bitcoin (Gallagher / The Bitcoin Foundation)
Utrecht University
We often talk about “history books” as if such things still existed, or mattered. Oh well, for what it’s worth, let me discuss the first (U.S.) case of blockchain antitrust. We long thought United American Corp. v. Bitmain was the one (read). In this case (filed in December 2018), United American (...)

The Turkish Court of Ankara annuls a decision of the Competition Authority which contains controversial issues such as market power provided by digital platforms and excessive pricing (Sahibinden.com)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction Decision numbered 2019/946 E., 2019/2625 K. of the 6 th Administrative Court of Ankara (“Annulment Decision”) is critical since it has annulled the Competition Authority's (“Authority”) Sahibinden.com Decision numbered 18-36/584-285 and dated 01.10.2018 (“Sahibinden Decision”) 1 , (...)

The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court upholds the Competition Authority’s decision prohibiting the application of the "best price clause" in the online hotel booking sector (HRS)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
HRS’s ‘best price’ clauses violate German and European competition law - Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms Bundeskartellamt’s prohibition decision* Today the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court rejected HRS’s appeal against the Bundeskartellamt’s decision of 20 December 2013. In its decision the (...)

Regulatory

The Austrian Government amends its taxi and private hire car regulation to remove taximeter requirement from journeys concluded by way of a communications service
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
New amendment to Occasional Traffic Act enables increased competition in the taxi and private hire car market* The Occasional Traffic Act (GelverkG), which includes provisions on the requirement to hold a licence, including the scope and granting of said licence in relation to the combined (...)

The Italian Competition Authority publishes the final report of the big data joint fact-finding survey which was launched in collaboration with the Communications Regulatory Authority and the Data Protection Authority
Bird & Bird (Rome)
On 10 February 2020, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”) published the final report of the Big Data joint fact-finding survey, launched in collaboration with the Italian Communications Regulatory Authority ("AgCom") and the Data Protection Authority on 30 May 2017. As part of the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority, the Communications Authority and the Data Protection Authority publish the findings of a joint sector inquiry into the field of big data
Portolano Cavallo (Milan)
On February 10, 2020 the Italian Authorities for Communications, Competition and Data Protection published the findings of a joint sector inquiry into the field of Big Data (“Investigation”), which lasted almost three years. It was launched on May 30, 2017 to study the functioning and impact of (...)

The Italian Competition Authority and two other Regulations Authorities publish a joint investigative report on big data
Court of First Instance of Namur (Namur)
On 10 February 2020, the Italian Competition Authority, the Authority for Communications Guarantees and the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data (together the “Authorities”) published a joint investigative report on big data (the “Report”). The Report is based on a one-year survey carried (...)

The UK Digital Competition Expert Panel releases its report setting out its proposed changes for effective regulation of the digital economy
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
,
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (London)
On 13 March 2019, the UK’s Digital Competition Expert Panel, led by advisor to former US President Barack Obama, Professor Jason Furman, released its report setting out its proposed changes for effective regulation of the digital economy (the Report). UK Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, who (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority investigates members of the Norwegian banking sector for suspected breaches of competition rules (DNB / Nordea / Finance Norway / BankID)
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA investigates DNB, Nordea, Finance Norway and BankID* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has opened proceedings against DNB, Nordea, Finance Norway and BankID for suspected breaches of the competition rules in the EEA Agreement. Bits, a related organisation to Finance Norway, will also (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on its analysis of the wholesale fast and super fast broadband markets
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence delivers its opinion to ARCEP as part of the fourth round of analysis of the wholesale fast and superfast broadband markets.* Following a referral by the French Telecommunications and Posts Regulator (hereinafter ARCEP), the Autorité de la concurrence today (...)

The US Federal Communications Commission conditionally approves a joint venture in the telecommunications sector subject to remedies resolving antitrust concerns (Comcast / NBC Universal)
Wolters Kluwer (Riverwoods)
Comcast/NBC Universal Joint Venture Receives Regulatory Approval* The Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Communications Commission today conditionally approved a joint venture between Comcast Corp. and General Electric Co.’s subsidiary NBC Universal Inc. The joint (...)

The French Competition Authority clarifies the opinion it provided to the Telecommunications and Posts Regulator on high and very high speed Internet access coverage
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence provides clarifications regarding the opinion that it provided to the ARCEP on the ramp-up of access speed.* On 22 December 2009, the Autorité de la concurrence provided the French Telecommunications and Posts Regulator (Autorité de Régulation des Communications (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion on the broadband access delivered on the national market
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
Conseil de la concurrence to lift ex ante regulation on the market for national broadband access.* As part of the market analysis procedure set up by the code of postal and electronic communications law, the Conseil de la concurrence, which was referred to on 25 and 6 October 2006, has just (...)

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