Internet & Antitrust

Anticompetitive practices

The French Competition Authority publishes its contribution to the competition policy debate in light of the digital economy challenge
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité publishes its contribution to the debate on competition policy and the challenges raised by the digital economy* The Autorité de la concurrence publishes its contribution to the debate on competition policy in light of the challenges arising from the digital economy. It is thus (...)

The EU Commission imposes a €14.3 million fine on a film and TV production company for territorial and online sale restrictions of merchandising products (NBCUniversal)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 January 2020, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced its decision to fine several companies belonging to Comcast Corporation, including NBCUniversal, € 14,327,000 for limiting the ability of licensees to sell licensed merchandising products to other EEA countries and non-allocated (...)

The UK Court of Appeal rejects an appeal against a judgment of the CAT which upheld the Competition Authority’s decision finding the online sales ban of a company’s custom-fitted golf clubs to be an unjustified restriction (Ping)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 21 January 2020, the UK Court of Appeal rejected an appeal brought by the golf club manufacturer Ping Europe Limited (“Ping”) against the 2018 judgment of the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”), which upheld the Competition and Markets Authority’s (“CMA”) 2017 decision finding Ping’s online sales (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau takes steps against misleading representations in online sales of airline tickets (FlightHub)
Commonwealth Secretariat (London)
The old adage appears to ring true yet again: If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Canada’s Competition Bureau (Bureau), which assists the Commissioner of Competition (Commissioner) in the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (Act), announced on 28 October 2019 that (...)

The Canadian Competition Authority issues a call for information from Canada’s business community about conduct in the digital economy that may be harmful to competition
Canadian Competition Bureau (Gatineau)
Competition Bureau calls for businesses to report potentially anti-competitive conduct in the digital economy* The Competition Bureau has published a call-out for information from Canada’s business community about conduct in the digital economy that may be harmful to competition. The Bureau is (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority fines a manufacturer of sports products for vertical price fixing with dealers (Stöckli)
Lenz & Staehelin (Zurich)
Introduction The Swiss Competition Commission (“ComCo”) fined Stöckli Swiss Sports (“Stöckli”), a Swiss manufacturer of Skis and other sport products, for vertical price fixing with its dealers with CHF 140’000. The fine was rather low, as Stöckli had filed a leniency application, albeit after ComCo (...)

The UK Competition Authority imposes a record-breaking £3.7 million fine on a piano supplier for online resale price maintenance (Casio)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
According to a press release issued on 1 August 2019, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) imposed a fine of £ 3.7 million (approximately € 4.1 million) on piano supplier Casio Electronics (“Casio”) for online resale price maintenance (RPM). Between the years 2013 and 2018, Casio reportedly (...)

The EU Commission opens investigation into the allegedly anticompetitive conduct of a multinational online platform focused on e-commerce (Amazon)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon* The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Amazon’s use of sensitive data from independent retailers who sell on its marketplace is in breach of EU competition (...)

The UK Competition Authority announces the start of a formal market study into online platforms and the UK market for digital advertising
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Crowell & Moring (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
What is the Study about? The Study is broad in scope and aims to examine three potential sources of harm in connection with the digital advertising market: i) to what extent online platforms have market power in user-facing markets and what impact this has on consumers; ii) whether consumers (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority warns that firms are responsible for the algorithms they use to coordinate market prices
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The AdC warns that using algorithms to coordinate market prices is incompatible with the Portuguese Competition Law* The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência, AdC) warns that firms are responsible for the algorithms they use and that employing these tools with the aim of (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a bicycle manufacturer €250.000 for online sale restrictions (Bikeurope / Trek Bicycle)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 July 2019, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) imposed a fine of € 250,000 on Trek Bicycle Corporation and its subsidiary Bikeurope B.V. (together “Bikeurope”) for having prohibited its authorised retailers from selling its bicycles online from 2007 to 2014, a restriction by object that (...)

The Shanghai IP Court holds that fictitiously increasing the number of views of videos is an act of false propaganda (Feiyi / IQiYi)
Beijing Foreign Studies University (Beijing)
From the perspective of anti-unfair competition law, Feiyi Company fictitiously increased the video visits of IQiYi’s website by technical means - the first case of inflating traffic on video websites in China. In recent years, the excessive pursuit of traffic in the Internet industry has (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines several companies for price coordination through the use of online cash registers (IPSZOI / PayPal)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The competition supervision procedure initiated against PayPal has ended with the acceptance of commitments* The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (the Hungarian Competition Authority, GVH) accepted the commitments of the online payment method provider, PayPal. On the basis of the commitments, the (...)

The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court overturns the Competition Authority’s prohibition of narrow best price clauses (Booking.com)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 June 2019, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (the “Court”) ruled that narrow best price clauses are not anticompetitive and overturned the decision of the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) prohibiting Booking.com from using such clauses in contracts with hotel operators. ‘Narrow’ best price (...)

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court quashes the Competition Authority’s decision and finds a most favoured nation clause compatible with antitrust law for a hotel booking platform (Booking.com)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
Booking.com’s "narrow" MFN clauses now also permissible in Germany, Court of Appeals rules* On June 4, 2019, the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal quashed the decision of the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) prohibiting Booking.com to operate so-called narrow most favored nation (MFN) clauses (or best price (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority fines a retailer for fixing the online retail prices of its products (Husqvarna Magyarország)
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH imposes a fine of HUF 100 million on Husqvarna Magyarország Kft. for fixing the online retail prices of its products* The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (the Hungarian Competition Authority, GVH) imposed a fine of HUF 111 million (approx. EUR 330 thousand) on Husqvarna Magyarország Kft. because (...)

The UK Competition Authority launches an investigation into online gaming companies’ roll-over contracts
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Crowell & Moring (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced on 05 April 2019 that it is launching an investigation into online gaming companies’ use of auto-renewal, cancellation, and refund policies in relation to online services. The investigation is being conducted using the CMA’s consumer (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes a paper summarizing its sector inquiry into online price comparison websites
Court of First Instance of Namur (Namur)
On 4 February 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a fifth paper in its series “Competition and Consumer Protection in the Digital Economy”. The paper summarizes the sector inquiry into online comparison websites in the travel, energy, insurance, telecommunications and financial (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of Florida receives an antitrust claim against bitcoin companies concerning alleged coordination in order to restrain trade (United American Corp / Bitmain)
Constantine Cannon (New York)
The First Blockchain Antitrust Case. Or Is It?* Legal professionals paying close attention to the still nascent world of blockchains and cyptocurrencies are following what is considered to be the first antitrust case involving cryptocurrencies. For enthusiasts, United American Corp. v. (...)

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal dismisses the appeal brought by a manufacturer of golf equipment on the liability of anticompetitive practices but permits a small reduction of the fine (Ping)
Rosenblatt Limited (London)
UK LANDMARK COMPETITION CASE CONDEMNS ABSOLUTE INTERNET SALE BAN AS A SERIOUS BREACH OF COMPETITION LAW* Introduction The Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down its judgment on 7 September 2018 in relation to an appeal by Ping Europe Limited (“Ping”) challenging the decision of the UK (...)

The EU Commission fines manufacturers of electronic goods for resale price maintenance (Asus / Denon / Philips / Pioneer)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
Vertical restrictions, including resale price maintenance (RPM), have not generally been an EC enforcement priority over the last 10 years, but a series of rulings in July 2018 signalled a potential change in that trend. Although the EC considers RPM to be a “hardcore restriction” of (...)

The EU Commission fines four leading consumer electronics manufacturers for fixing online resale prices (Asus / Denon & Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
Rosenblatt Limited (London)
EU COMMISSION FINES MAJOR CONSUMER ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURERS FOR FIXING ONLINE RESALE PRICES* On 24th July 2018 the EU Commission passed a decision to enforce the competition rules in yet another case involving the e-commerce sector. This time it fined a number of leading consumer electronics (...)

The EU Commission fines four electronic manufacturers for fixing minimum resale prices for online retailers (Asus / Denon / Philips / Pioneer)
K&L Gates (Houston)
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K&L Gates (Sidney)
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K&L Gates (Boston)
This article has been nominated for the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On 24 July 2018, in four separate decisions, the European Commission (“Commission”) levied fines totalling EUR 111 million on four well-known manufacturers of (...)

The EU Commission fines manufacturers over €111 million for restricting the ability of online retailers to set their own retail prices for a variety of widely-used consumer electronics products (Asus / Denon & Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
Bona Law (San Diego)
Antitrust News: The European Commission imposes fines for the first time in 15 years as a result of online retail price restrictions (RPM)* On July 24, 2018, the European Commission fined manufacturers Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer for over €111 million for restricting the (...)

The Frankfurt Higher Regional Court finds that a luxury perfume provider can prohibit unauthorized distribution over third-party websites (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
This judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt/Main of 12 July 2018 applying the preliminary ruling of the CJEU of 6 December 2017 in the case Coty Germany GmbH v Parfümerie Akzente GmbH will reassure manufacturers of luxury products that they can protect such products from unauthorised (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority publishes its revised Guidelines on vertical agreements
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) completed its work in progress on revising the Guidelines on Vertical Agreements (“Guidelines”) that was issued based on the Block Exemption Communiqué on Vertical Agreements (“Communiqué No. 2002/2”). It took approximately 2 years for the Authority to (...)

The Turkish Competition Board launches a formal investigation to determine if undertakings have engaged in a price fixing agreement based on evidences collected in an on-the-spot inspection (Ortosistem / Medifarm / Benlioğlu Dental / Eksen / Medikodental / Uysal / Dnt / MD / Modern Ortodonti)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction Decision numbered 18-09/157-77 and dated 29.03.2018 (“Decision”) of the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) is critical with respect to evidence that has been obtained in on-the-spot investigations, because this is the first decision in which the Board had taken WhatsApp (...)

The Hamburg Higher Regional Court finds that a ban on selling products through online platforms can be justified if its objective is to preserve product image and ensure personal consultation with customers in the light of the Coty judgment (Aloe2Go)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The Higher Regional Court of Hamburg had the opportunity to establish a position regarding potential restrictions of competition in selective distribution arising out of bans on selling products through eBay and similar platforms. The Higher Regional Court referred to recent case law of the (...)

The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court finds that sellers of high quality cosmetics cannot invoke exhaustion of rights under the EU Trademark Regulation if they have not presented the products in a way that avoids impairment of the brand’s reputation (Kanebo)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf decided that neither online nor offline sellers can invoke exhaustion of rights under Article 15(1) of the EU trademark regulation if they sell high-quality, prestigious cosmetic products without appropriate presentation to avoid impairment of reputation. (...)

The German Competition Authority allows a company to launch an online trading platform for steel products (Klöckner)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Klöckner allowed to launch digital platform for steel products* The Bundeskartellamt has no objections to plans by Klöckner & Co SE, Duisburg to set up the business to business online trading platform "XOM Metals" for the sale of steel products. After talks with the Bundeskartellamt, (...)

The German Competition Authority launches a sector inquiry into market conditions in the online advertising sector
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt launches sector inquiry into market conditions in online advertising sector* The Bundeskartellamt has launched a sector inquiry into the online advertising sector. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "Online advertising has experienced an extraordinarily high (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice confirms that a general prohibition for retailers to use price comparison engines is illegal (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
ASICS dealers allowed to use price comparison engines - Federal Court of Justice confirms Bundeskartellamt’s decision* In its decision of 12 December, 2017, published on 19 January, 2018, the Federal Court of Justice decided that ASICS may not forbid its dealers from using price comparison (...)

The EU Court of Justice holds that suppliers of luxury goods may under certain conditions restrict authorised retailers in a selective distribution system not to sell their goods via third-party online platforms to preserve their products’ ‘luxury image’ (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
Hogan Lovells (Munich/Frankfurt)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Berlin)
I. Introduction On 6 December 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down its long-awaited judgment on the permissibility of restrictions by suppliers of luxury goods to sell their products via third-party online platforms under Article 101 (1) TFEU. The question has been subject to (...)

The EU Court of Justice hands down an anticipated judgment in the luxury goods sector regarding the possibility to restrict sales on third party online platforms that are outside of the selective distribution network (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 December 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the ECJ or the Court) handed down its eagerly anticipated judgment in Coty (C-230/16). In general, the ECJ closely follows the opinion of Advocate General Wahl (AG Wahl), published on 26 July 2016, in essentially holding that: the (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules in favour of restrictions on the use of platforms in a selective distribution system (Coty Germany / Parfümerie Akzente)
Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
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Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Brussels)
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Gibson Dunn (Brussels)
This article considers how much the Coty Ruling has shed light on the extent to which a manufacturer can restrict the sales of its products over online platforms, especially in the wake of the recent German Case involving ASICS and basic principles developed at EU level to assess obligations (...)

The German Competition Authority launches a sector inquiry into online price comparison websites
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt launches sector inquiry into comparison websites* The Bundeskartellamt has launched a sector inquiry into "online price comparison websites". Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "Every day millions of consumers gather information by using price comparison (...)

The French Supreme Court refers a case regarding an online sales ban back to the Paris Court of Appeal without waiting for an upcoming ruling of the EU Court of Justice on a similar case (Caudalie / eNova Santé)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 13 September 2017, the French Supreme Court ordered the Paris Court of Appeal to rehear a case for failing to sufficiently substantiate its finding that an obligation in Caudalie’s selective distribution system constituted a probable restriction of competition by object. In the selective (...)

The US District Court for the Southern District of Texas files an information due to conspiracy to fix the prices in the silicone wristbands and lanyards sector (Zaappaaz)
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Dusseldorf)
Azim Makanojiya founded Zaappaaz Inc. as a nineteen-year-old university student and quickly turned it into a multi-million dollar business. WHAT HAPPENED: On Tuesday, August 7, online retailer Zaappaaz Inc. and its twenty-nine-year-old president and founder, Azim Makanojiya, agreed to plead (...)

The US DOJ announces that an e-commerce company and its president have agreed to plead guilty to participating in a price-fixing conspiracy (Zaappaaz)
Jones Day (San Francisco)
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Jones Day (San Francisco)
Background Texas-based e-commerce company Zaappaaz, Inc.—doing business as WB Promotions, Inc., Wrist-Band.com, and Customlanyard.net—and its president both agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix prices for customized promotional products sold online in the United States, including (...)

The EU Advocate General Wahl holds that suppliers of luxury goods may prohibit their authorized retailers from selling their goods via third-party internet platforms (Coty Germany)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
Advocate General Wahl Delivers Opinion on Legality of Bans on Online Sales via Third-Party Platforms in Selective Distribution Systems* According to Advocate General Nils Wahl’s opinion, delivered on July 26, in the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) case Coty Germany GmbH v (...)

The French Competition Authority launches a public consultation as part of its current sector-specific inquiry on online advertising
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
Online advertising* As part of its current sector-specific inquiry on online advertising, the Autorité de la concurrence has launched a public consultation in order to collect stakeholder comments on several points. Stakeholders are asked to reply to the questionnaire sent out by the Autorité (...)

The EU Commission publishes its final report on the e-commerce sector inquiry
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On 10 May 2017, two years after launching its e-commerce sector inquiry on 6 May 2015, the European Commission published its final report (Final Report) on the inquiry. The inquiry was opened in the framework of the Commission’s broader Digital Single Market strategy, which was aimed at (...)

The EU Commission publishes its final e-commerce sector inquiry report
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 10 May 2017, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its final Report on the e-commerce sector inquiry (“the Report”), aimed at identifying business practices in the sector that might restrict competition and limit consumer choice. The Report consists of two documents: (i) a 16-page (...)

The EU Commission publishes its final report on the inquiry into the e-commerce sector
Dentons (Brussels)
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DLA Piper (London)
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DLA Piper (Amsterdam)
On 10 May 2017, DG Competition of the European Commission (the "Commission") published its final report on the inquiry into the e-commerce sector (launched in May 2015 as part of the Digital Single Market strategy). The findings in the report are based on information gathered from 1,900 (...)

The EU Commission issues a final report on its e-commerce sector inquiry and updates its digital single market plans
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
EU issues final report on its e-commerce sector inquiry and updates its digital single market plan* On May 10, 2017, the European Commission published the final report on its sector inquiry on competition in the e-commerce sector (the E-Commerce Report) and a mid-term review of its digital (...)

The EU Commission issues its final report on the e-commerce sector
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission publishes final report on e-commerce sector inquiry* The European Commission’s final report on the e-commerce sector inquiry identifies business practices that may restrict competition. It allows the Commission to target its enforcement of EU antitrust rules in e-commerce (...)

The EU Commission publishes its final report on the e-commerce sector inquiry
Shearman & Sterling (London)
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Court of Justice of the European Union
The European Commission has published, on 10 May, its final report on the E- commerce Sector Inquiry (the “Final Report”). The Commission launched the E-commerce Sector Inquiry in May 2015 in the context of its Digital Single Market (“DSM”) strategy, aiming to ensure better access for consumers (...)

The EU Commission accepts commitments to remove most favoured nation clauses from e-book distribution agreements (Amazon)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 May 2017, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced that it had accepted, pursuant to Article 9 of Regulation (EC) No.1/2003, to make binding commitments that Amazon offered ending the use of parity clauses in distribution agreements with electronic book (“e-book”) publishers. These (...)

The Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms that a general prohibition for retailers to use price comparison engines violates competition law (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirms Bundeskartellamt’s decision on prohibition of use of price comparison engines* Yesterday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court confirmed the Bundeskartellamt’s decision of principle against the running shoes manufacturer Asics. According to the decision the (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes preliminary findings on price comparison websites
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Latham & Watkins (London)
In September 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) launched a Market Study into digital comparison tools (“DCTs”). On March 28, 2017, the CMA published an update on the Market Study setting out its preliminary findings and areas of focus for the second part of the Market Study. The (...)

The EU Commission opens three investigations into suspected cartels in the e-commerce sector (Asus / Denon & Marantz / Philips / Pioneer)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission opens three investigations into suspected anticompetitive practices in e-commerce* The European Commission has launched three separate investigations to assess if certain online sales practices prevent, in breach of EU antitrust rules, consumers from enjoying cross-border (...)

The Madrid Commercial Court dismisses a lawsuit for unfair competition stating that a platform that focuses exclusively on private transport is not subject to transportation regulations (Confebus / Blablacar)
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
A First Instance Commercial Court dismisses the lawsuit filed against Blablacar for unfair competition stating that Blablacar is a platform that focuses exclusively on private transport and is therefore not subject to transportation regulations (Judgement of the Commercial Court of 2 February (...)

The Turkish Competition Board concludes its investigation against an online booking platform (Booking.com)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction The Competition Board (“Board”) concluded its investigation with regard to the booking services provided by Booking.com B.V. (“Booking.com”) and by Bookingdotcom Destek Hizmetleri Limited Liability Company. During its investigation, the Board has evaluated whether Articles 4 and 6 of (...)

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 US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit considers potential discrimination between taxis and transportation network providers (Illinois Transport Association / City of Chicago)
Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (Warsaw)
Sharing and traditional economy: matter of substitutability ... between cats and dogs?* Sharing economy firms are disrupting traditional industries across the globe. As Tom Goodwin once put it: “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority launches a market inquiry into online platforms
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Taking a closer look at online video platforms* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has launched a market study into online platforms that offer videos and movies. Think of YouTube and Facebook, but also Dutch platforms such as NL-ziet and Dumpert. "We will be taking a (...)

The EU Commission publishes initial findings of e-commerce sector inquiry report
Bydgoszcz University of Technology and Life Sciences (UOKIK)
On 15 September 2016, the European Commission published a preliminary report on its initial findings in the e-commerce sector inquiry, aimed at identifying business practices in the sector that might restrict competition and limit consumer choice. This development follows the Commission’s report (...)

The EU Commission publishes the initial findings of its e-commerce sector inquiry
White & Case (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
European Commission’s e-commerce sector inquiry - increasing anti-trust heat* Online sales are not only attracting the attention of consumers and tech businesses, but also increased review by antitrust regulators. On 15 September 2016, the European Commission published a detailed 290 page (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines a company specialized in online sales of posters and frames for cartel (Trod)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA issues final decision in online cartel case* The CMA has today issued a formal decision that 2 online sellers of posters and frames broke competition law. This follows the announcement on 21 July 2016 that Trod Ltd had admitted agreeing with GB eye Ltd (trading as ‘GB Posters’) that they (...)

The UK Competition Authority fines online retailers for using automated repricing software to implement an illegal cartel (Trod / GB Posters)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Online seller admits breaking competition law* An online seller has agreed to accept a fine after admitting using automated repricing software to implement an illegal cartel. Trod Limited has admitted agreeing with one of its competing online sellers, GB eye Limited (trading as ‘GB Posters’), (...)

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 UK Competition Authority fines a company for retail price maintenance on online sales (ITW)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 May 2016, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) fined ITW Limited, a supplier of refrigerators, £ 2,298,820 for retail price maintenance on online sales. From 2012 to 2014, ITW required dealers to adhere to its minimum advertised price policy for Foster commercial fridges and (...)

The French Competition Authority gathers informations to assess data processing in the on-line advertising sector
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence begins, at its own initiative, gathering information in order to assess data processing in the on-line advertising sector* The Autorité has decided, at its own initiative, to gather information with a view to assessing competition in the internet advertising sector (...)

The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court confirms that 29 travel agencies breached antitrust rules to limit discounts for travel packages (Eturas)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 4 May 2016, the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court (“Lithuanian Supreme Court”) confirmed that 29 travel agencies had breached antitrust rules when using an online booking system to limit discounts for travel packages. This judgment follows the ruling handed down by the Court of Justice (...)

The Frankfurt Court of Appeal submits preliminary reference on how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms in selective distribution systems (Coty Germany)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
Ban on sales via third-party internet platforms in Germany and Pierre Fabre – recent referral to the Court of Justice* The question of how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms in selective distribution systems and the impact of the Court of Justice’s Pierre Fabre ruling (see (...)

The Frankfurt Court of Appeal submits preliminary reference on how to treat bans on sales via third-party internet platforms in selective distribution systems (Coty Germany)
Reed Smith (Brussels)
European Court of Justice to Rule on Legality of Online Sales Bans*An appeal court in Frankfurt has asked the European Court of Justiceto clarify the application of the competition rules to online sales. The Frankfurt court made its request in the context of a dispute between a leader in beauty (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority closes investigation into the online platform market for food delivery after the dominant firm voluntarily modifies its contractual terms (OnlinePizza)
European Commission (Brussels)
The Swedish Competition Authority closes investigation into the Online platform market for food delivery after OnlinePizza voluntary changed its contractual terms* OnlinePizza Norden AB (OnlinePizza) is the leading online platform for food delivery in Sweden with about 1,200 affiliated (...)

The EU Commission presents its initial findings on geo-blocking with respect to consumer goods in an e-commerce sector inquiry
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 March 2016, the European Commission published its initial findings of its sector inquiry into the e-commerce sector in relation to geo-blocking practices. The Commission de nes geo-blocking as commercial practices whereby online providers prevent users from accessing and purchasing (...)

The German Competition Authority opens proceedings in the audiobooks market (Audible / Amazon / Apple)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt opens proceedings against Audible/Amazon and Apple* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated administrative proceedings against the Amazon subsidiary Audible.com and Apple Computer Inc. The companies have a long-term agreement on the purchase of audiobooks by Apple from Audible for (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on competition and cross platform parity agreements
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Executive summary, by the Secretariat * From the discussion at the hearing, the delegates’ and experts’ written submissions, several key points have emerged: 1. There is increasing concern at online platforms using across platform parity agreements (APPAs) that prevent producers from setting (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority decides to not launch investigation in hotel market (Booking.com / Expedia)
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
HCC decides not to proceed with a formal investigation into BOOKING & EXPEDIA’s cooperation agreements with hotel businesses in Greece * The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) reviewed the revised parity terms in the agreements between online travel agencies (OTAs) BOOKING.COM and (...)

The UK Competition Authority closes its hotel online booking investigation (IHG / Expedia / Booking.com)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA closes hotel online booking investigation* The CMA today announced that it has closed an investigation into suspected breaches of competition law in the hotel online booking sector. The investigation was launched by the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) predecessor, the Office of (...)

The German Competition Authority condemns a manufacturer of running shoes for restricting the online sale activities of small and medium-sized authorised dealers (Asics)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Unlawful restriction of online sales of ASICS running shoes* The Bundeskartellamt has concluded its proceeding on anti-competitive clauses in the distribution system of ASICS Deutschland. The authority accuses ASICS of having restricted the online sales activities of small and medium-sized (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Szpunar issues opinion on circumstances where the use of an online booking system by travel agents may amount to a concerted practice (Eturas)
Ashurst (Milan)
EU Court of Justice’s Advocate General issues opinion on circumstances where the use of an online booking system by travel agents may amount to a concerted practice* On 16 July 2015 Advocate General Szupnar handed down his opinion following a request for a preliminary ruling by the Court of (...)

The Polish Competition Authority accepts commitments concerning the online sales of prams and strollers (Emmaljunga)
Hansberry Tomkiel (Warsaw)
In its decision no RGD 2/2015 of 30th June 2015 (the “Decision”), the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (“Competition Authority”) accepted commitments proposed by the Poland-based company “Investment Trading Consulting” (“Company”), Polish exclusive distributor of prams and (...)

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 Italian Competition Authority issues a commitment decision and closes an investigation regarding contracts concluded between an online booking website and its partner hotels (Booking.com)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
By a commitment decision made on 21 April 2015 in the Mercato dei Servizi Turistici-Prenotazione Alberghiere Online case (thereinfter Online Hotel Reservation) the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has closed an Article 101 TFEU investigation against Booking. The ICA has launched the (...)

Dominance

The French Competition Authority fines a research engine company for abuse of dominance in the search advertising market (Google)
Autorité de la concurrence (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence hands down a €150M fine for abuse of a dominant position* Google has abused its dominant position in the search advertising market by adopting operating rules of its Google Ads advertising platform which are opaque and difficult to understand and by applying them (...)

The French Competition Authority fines a company for abusing its dominant position in the online search advertising market (Google)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 December 2019, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) announced that it had imposed a € 150 million fine on Google for abusing its dominant position in the market for search advertising. This is the fourth antitrust fine imposed on Google by a competition authority of the EU in less than (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority imposes a daily fine on a big tech company for not complying with the previously imposed obligations (Google)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) recently published its decision (“Review Decision”) reviewing the obligations that ought to be fulfilled by the economic integrity comprised of Google LLC, Google International LLC and Google Reklamcılık ve Pazarlama Ltd. Şti. (will be referred to as “Google” (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority experts impose administrative fines on undertakings in order to ensure the protection of competition (Google)
Erdem & Erdem (Istanbul)
Introduction The Law on Protection of Competition (“Law No. 4054”) outlines the Competition Board’s (“Board”) and the Competition Authority’s experts’ powers while implementing their duties to ensure the protection of competition. Accordingly, Law No. 4054 imposes several types of administrative (...)

The German Competition Authority obtains amendments of seller rules active on a major online marketplace (Amazon)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt obtains far-reaching improvements in the terms of business for sellers on Amazon’s online marketplaces* In response to the competition concerns expressed by the Bundeskartellamt, Amazon is amending its terms of business for sellers on Amazon’s online marketplaces. Andreas (...)

The German Competition Authority ends an abuse probe after an online market place agrees to change business terms for dealers (Amazon)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
Bundeskartellamt ends abuse probe after Amazon agrees to changing business terms for dealers* On July 17, 2019, the German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office, “FCO”) terminated its dominance probe into Amazon’s business terms towards sellers on its marketplace after Amazon agreed to various (...)

The Brazilian Competition Authority decides to file charges against a multinational technology company due to one of its online shopping platform features (Google)
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
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University of São Paulo
GOOGLE SHOPPING IN BRAZIL: HIGHLIGHTS OF CADE’S DECISION AND TAKEAWAYS FOR DIGITAL ECONOMY ISSUES On 26 June 2019, the Brazilian Competition Authority (CADE) decided to file the competition charges raised against Google on its “Google Shopping” feature. It was not an easy decision, which is shown (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation against a search engine company suspected to abuse of its dominant position (Google)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: investigation launched against Google for alleged abuse of a dominant position* In the meeting of 8 May 2019, the Italian Competition Authority decided to launch an investigation against Alphabet Inc., Google LLC and Google Italy S.r.l. (indicated together as Google) to ascertain an (...)

The Indian Competition Authority finds that a company abused its dominant position by requiring device manufacturers wishing to pre-install apps to adhere to a compatibility standard (Google)
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
Following a complaint made by a number of users of smartphones using the Android operating system, the CCI prima facie found that Google was dominant in the market for licensable smart mobile device operating systems in India and had abused its dominant position by requiring device (...)

The Indian Competition Authority orders a probe against a multinational technology company for abusing its dominant position (Google)
Gujarat National Law University (Gandhinagar)
COMPETITION COMMISSION OF INDIA STRIKES ANOTHER BLOW TO GOOGLE FOR ABUSE OF DOMINANT POSITION* On 16th April 2019, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) ordered a probe against the multinational technology company, Google, for abusing its dominant position in clear violation of Section 4 (...)

The Italian Competition Authority opens an antitrust investigation against a major e-commerce company for alleged abuse of dominance (Amazon)
Giannino SI (Monserrato)
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has opened an Article 102 TFEU investigation against several undertakings belonging to the Amazon group in the FBA case. The targets of the ICA investigation are Amazon Services Europe (ASE), Amazon Europe Core (AEC), Amazon EU (AEU), Amazon Italia (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf upholds a decision of the German Competition Authority prohibiting exclusivity clauses in the event ticketing market (CTS Eventim)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 April 2019, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (the “Court”) upheld a 2017 decision of the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) prohibiting exclusivity clauses in the event ticketing market. In a large number of its contracts with event organisers, ticketing service provider CTS Eventim used (...)

The Philippine Competition Authority files suits against company against a mass housing developer for abuse of dominance (Condo developer)
Philippine Competition Commission (Quezon City)
The Enforcement Office of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has filed a case against a mass housing developer for breaching the antitrust law by engaging in an exclusive internet service tie-up on its property in Tondo, Manila. In a Statement of Objections filed on March 27, the PCC (...)

The EU Commission imposes a fine of € 1.49 billion on a search engine company for abusing its dominant position by imposing restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites (Google AdSense)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Google €1.49 billion for abusive practices in online advertising* The European Commission has fined Google €1.49 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules. Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority launches an investigation into a search engine company for alleged abuse of dominance in the online search market (Google)
Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University (Ankara)
Background Competition authorities all over the world, including the European Commission, German, French, Italian and Indian competition authorities, have launched many investigations against the well-known online search engine company Google, many of which ended with imposition of huge (...)

The Austrian Competition Authority initiates investigation proceedings concerning discrimination against retailers on the internet (Amazon)
Austrian Competition Authority (Vienna)
After a first analysis, discussions with the European Commission (DG Competition) and the German Bundeskartellamt, the BWB has decided to initiate investigation proceedings concerning suspected infringements of Austrian and European Competition Law. The BWB will examine, whether Amazon abused (...)

The German Competition Authority finds the merging of user data from multiple sources to be both anti-competitive and in breach of the GDPR (Facebook)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
In one of the first decisions to consider data protection and competition issues side by side, the German competition regulator (the Bundeskartellamt) last week found that Facebook had both abused its market power in Germany and breached EU data protection laws in the way in which it collects (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits a social network company for abusing its dominant position by combining its user data from different sources (Facebook)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt / Digital Economy Bundeskartellamt prohibits Facebook from combining user data from different sources* Bonn, 7 February 2019: The Bundeskartellamt has imposed on Facebook far-reaching restrictions in the processing of user data. According to Facebook’s terms and conditions (...)

The German Competition Authority orders a social network company to stop collecting and matching data of its users without explicit consent as it constitutes an abuse of dominance (Facebook)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
Bundeskartellamt hits „don’t like“-button on Facebook* On February 7, 2019, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued its long-awaited decision in the Facebook case, see press release and background paper in English here. It qualifies Facebook’s current practice of collecting and matching data (...)

The German Competition Authority holds that matching the data collected by a social network company constitutes an antitrust violation (Facebook)
International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
Doing double damage: The German competition authority’s Facebook decision manages to undermine both antitrust and data protection law* The German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office or FCO) this week reached a decision in its nearly 3-year-old Facebook investigation. The decision appears to (...)

The German Competition Authority finds that the data gathering practices of a social network are an abuse of its dominant position, and orders amendments in its data processing policy (Facebook)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 February 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) concluded administrative proceedings concerning the data gathering practices of Facebook Inc., Facebook Ireland and Facebook Germany (together “Facebook”). The FCO found that Facebook abused its dominant position by making the private use (...)

The French Competition Authority orders a search engine company to review and clarify the rules of its online advertising service (Amadeus / Google)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 31 January 2019, the French Competition Authority (the “FCA”) ordered Google to review the rules of its Google Ads service. The FCA’s Order follows a complaint by Amadeus, an operator of online enquiry services – such as “a directory that provides call or text numbers for business/ residential (...)

The German Competition Authority initiates an abuse of dominance proceeding against a major e-commerce company (Amazon)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt initiates abuse proceeding against Amazon* The Bundeskartellamt has today initiated an abuse proceeding against Amazon to examine its terms of business and practices towards sellers on its German marketplace amazon.de. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “Amazon (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on personalized pricing in the digital era
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
As data analytics and pricing algorithms become common business practice in the digital era, there are growing concerns about the possibility that companies use such tools to engage in personalised pricing, a form of price discrimination that involves charging different prices to consumers (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines an electronics company for resale price maintenance on online sales channels (Sony)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
This case summary includes an analysis of the Turkish Competition Board’s (the “Board”) Sony decision (22.11.2018; 18-44/703-345) in which the Board evaluated the allegations concerning resale price maintenance (“RPM”) against Sony Eurasia Pazarlama A.Ş. (“Sony”) upon complaint of a former distributor (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines a consumer electronics company for resale price maintenance in online sales (Sony)
ACTECON (Istanbul)
On 22 November 2018 the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) completed its investigation and decided to sanction Sony Eurasia Pazarlama A.Ş. (“Sony”) for its involvement in imposition of fixed or minimum resale prices maintenance (“RPM”) on online retailers. Sony should be faced with an (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority fines a consumer electronics company for resale price maintenance in online sales (Sony)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) published its reasoned decision which concludes the investigation that was initiated on September 7, 2017 regarding the activities of Sony Eurasia Pazarlama A.Ş. (“Sony”). The main focus of the investigation was the allegations with respect to violation of Law (...)

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 EU Commission fines a tech company for illegal tying in the market for third-party mobile device manufacturing (Google Android)
Economists Incorporated (Washington)
European Commission Fines Google for Illegal Tying* The European Commission (“EC”) recently fined Google €4.34 billion, stating that “Google has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search.” (...)

The EU Commission fines a multinational technology company for abuse of dominance by imposing illegal restrictions on device manufacturers and mobile network operators (Google Android)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines Google €4.34 billion for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen dominance of Google’s search engine* The European Commission has fined Google €4.34 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules. Since 2011, Google has imposed illegal restrictions (...)

The EU Commission fines a multinational technology company for abuse of dominant position in the smartphone operating system sector (Google Android)
Baker McKenzie (London)
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Baker McKenzie (Brussels)
This article has been nominated for the 2020 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On 18 July 2018 the European Commission imposed a record fine of €4.34 billion on Google. In such an innovative and competitive industry, a decision and fine on (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion concluding its sector-specific investigation into online advertising
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Sector-specific investigation into online advertising* The Autorité de la concurrence has made public its opinion in which it analyses a very complex market characterised by a fragile competitive equilibrium. Given the concerns of stakeholders in the sector, the General Rapporteur announced (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines a company for search bias in the search engine market (Google)
Indian Competition Commission (New Delhi)
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has found Google to have abused its dominant position in online general web search and web search advertising services in India. The order was passed in response to informations filed by Matrimony.com Limited and Consumer Unity & Trust Society (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines a global tech company for abuse of dominance in the market for online search and related advertising services (Google)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI imposes penalty of INR 136 Crores on Google for abuse of dominant position* The Indian anti-trust regulator, the Competition Commission of India (“CCI/ Commission”) seems to have let Google off with just a rap on the knuckles. CCI vide order dated February 8, 2018 has imposed a penalty of (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines a company for search bias and exclusive agreements (Google)
Gujarat National Law University (Gandhinagar)
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Gujarat National Law University (Gandhinagar)
On 8th February 2018, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposed a fine of INR 135.86 Crores (approximately $ 1.36 Billion) on Google, for abusing its dominant position striking the mandate of Section 4 of the (Indian) Competition Act, 2002 (‘Act’). The comment herein highlights the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority opens a procedure against a company suspected of abuse of dominance in the mediation services market through online platforms (Dante International)
Romanian Competition Council (Bucharest)
The Competition Council analyses a possible abuse of dominant position of Dante International SA* The Competition Council opened an investigation on a possible abuse of dominant position by Dante International SA on the mediation services market through online platforms in Romania. Dante (...)

The Malaysian Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds a decision of the Competition Authority in a case of abuse of dominance in the provision and management of online foreign workers permit renewals (My E.G)
Wong Partners (Baker McKenzie Kuala Lumpur)
On 28 December 2017, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) upheld the Malaysian Competition Commission’s (MyCC) decision on 24 June 2016 that My E.G. Services Berhad (MyEG) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, My E.G Commerce Sdn. Bhd. (MyEG Commerce) have abused their dominant position in the (...)

The German Competition Authority finds by a preliminary assessment that a social network company abused its dominant position by collecting and using data from third-party sources (Facebook)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Preliminary assessment in Facebook proceeding: Facebook’s collection and use of data from third-party sources is abusive* The Bundeskartellamt has informed the company Facebook in writing of its preliminary legal assessment in the abuse of dominance proceeding which the authority is conducting (...)

The German Competition Authority indicates in its preliminary assessment of possible abuse of dominance case that data collection and use from third-party sources is abusive (Facebook)
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
Bundeskartellamt sends preliminary assessment to Facebook* On December 19, 2017, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published a press release on its preliminary assessment in the ongoing Facebook dominance probe, accompanied by a background paper (available in English here). The FCO considers (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority, after its market study into online video platforms, finds no dominant market power among online video streaming platforms (Youtube / Facebook / Netflix / Dumpert)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
No dominant market power among online video streaming platforms* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has conducted a market study into online video platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, and Dumpert. ACM did not find any indications for anticompetitive risks on the (...)

The EU Commission imposes a record fine on a big tech undertaking for abuse of dominance in the search engine market (Google)
Simmons & Simmons (London)
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Crowell & Moring (London)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
Introduction On 27 June 2017, the European Commission (the Commission) imposed a record €2.42bn fine on Google after finding it had abused its dominant position in the search engine market by giving favourable treatment to its comparison shopping service in its search results. Background (...)

The Russian Competition Authority announces the payment of a fine by a multinational technology undertaking following a settlement (Google)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Google paid the fine* On 9 May 2017 Google Inc. Paid a 438,067,400 RUB administrative fine imposed by the Federal Antimonopoly Service. On 17 April 2017 the 2-year dispute between the Federal Antimonopoly Service and “Google” ended in an amicable settlement reached at the Arbitration Court of (...)

The EU Commission accepts remedies proposed by an electronic commerce company in the e-books case (Amazon)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments from Amazon on e-books* The European Commission has adopted a decision that renders legally binding the commitments offered by Amazon. The commitments address the Commission’s preliminary competition concerns relating to a number of clauses in Amazon’s (...)

The Russian Competition Authority concludes an amicable settlement with a multinational technology company (Google)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS terminated administrative proceedings against Google* The decisions was due to an amicable settlement reached between the antimonopoly authority and the company On 25 April 2017, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) terminated the proceedings against Google opened for failure to (...)

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court finds an ad-block app breaching unfair competition provisions ( Feihu Information Technology Tianjin Company and Sohu / Beijing Xiaoyi Interaction Network Technology)
University of Melbourne
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
On 2 April 2017, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court upheld the first-instance judgement relating to an unfair competition claim brought by Feihu Information Technology Tianjin Company and Sohu against Beijing Xiaoyi Interaction Network Technology. Xiaoyi operated an app that could play 30 (...)

The French Competition Authority conducts an initial intermediary assessment of the commitments made by an online accommodation booking company (Booking.com)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence conducts an initial intermediary assessment of the commitments made by Booking.com.* The Autorité has not ruled out the possibility of issuing an opinion at its own initiative if the change in competition so requires, and is actively contributing to all of the (...)

The EU Commission seeks feedback on commitments proposed by an electronic commerce company in e-book investigation (Amazon)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by Amazon in e-book investigation* The European Commission is inviting comments on commitments offered by Amazon to address competition concerns relating to parity clauses in contracts with publishers. The clauses may breach EU (...)

The German Competition Authority closes its proceeding against companies operating on the digital audio-books market suspected of abuse of dominance (Apple and Amazon)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt closes proceedings against Audible/Amazon and Apple* The Bundeskartellamt has closed its administrative proceedings against Audible.com – a subsidiary of Amazon – and Apple Computer Inc. Following a complaint by the German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenverein des (...)

The Paris Commercial Court declares void price and availability parity clauses formerly implemented by a hotel online booking company (Booking.com)
Epex Spot (Paris)
In a ruling issued on November 29th, 2016, the Paris commercial court (hereafter the “court”) declared void several provisions, including price and availability parity clauses previously in force, of Booking.com’s general terms of service governing its B2B relationships with hotels. Following an (...)

The Canadian Competition Tribunal denies a company leave to commence a private application in a refusal to deal case (CarGurus)
Cassels Brock (Toronto)
Used car listing website operator CarGurus Inc.’s attempt to force rival Trader Corporation to supply it with vehicle listing data has encountered a dead end as the Competition Tribunal denied it leave to commence a private application under several provisions of the Competition Act. This (...)

The Italian Competition Authority, in collaboration with 9 National Competition Authorities and the EU Commission, monitors the impact of the measures undertaken in the online hotel booking sector
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
Monitoring launched in online hotel booking sector* Monitoring the impact of the new parity clauses in the contracts with online travel agencies by the Italian Competition Authority in partnership with 9 other National Competition Authorities The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM), in (...)

The Arbitration Court of Moscow confirms that a technology company has abused its dominance on the market of pre-installed app stores (Google)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Appeal Court supported FAS in a dispute with “Google”* On 17 August 2016, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court pronounced legitimacy and reasonableness of the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) on a case against “Google” abusing dominance on the market of preset application (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority sends a statement of objections to a company specialized in standard mail services suspected of abuse of dominance (CTT)
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
The Portuguese Competition Authority sends Statement of Objections to CTT – Correios de Portugal S.A.* The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência – AdC) confirms having sent a Statement of Objections to CTT – Correios de Portugal S.A. (CTT) outlining its preliminary view that (...)

The EU Commission considers comparison shopping services and advertising related practices (Google AdSense)
International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
Everything is amazing - and no-one at the European Commission is happy* Since the European Commission (EC) announced its first inquiry into Google’s business practices in 2010, the company has been the subject of lengthy investigations by courts and competition agencies around the globe. (...)

The EU Commission takes further steps concerning the case involving comparison shopping services and advertising-related practices (Google AdSense)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission takes further steps in investigations alleging Google’s comparison shopping and advertising-related practices breach EU rules* The Commission has sent two Statements of Objections to Google. The Commission has reinforced, in a supplementary Statement of Objections, its (...)

The French Competition Authority starts, in collaboration with 9 National Competition Authorities and the EU Commission, a survey among hoteliers to assess the remedies implemented in the hotel booking sector (Booking.com)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Hotel booking platforms* The Autorité de la concurrence launches, in collaboration with 9 national competition authorities and the European Commission, a survey among hoteliers in order to assess the effects of the remedies implemented in Europe in the hotel booking platforms sector. (...)

The German Competition Authority issues a working paper on the market power of platforms and networks
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt publishes working paper on "Market Power of Platforms and Networks"* The Bundeskartellamt has today published a working paper which deals with the "Market Power of Platforms and Networks" in the Internet. The report focuses on the factors relevant for assessing the market (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority pursues the monitoring of the online booking market after closing its sector inquiry
Hungarian Competition Authority (Budapest)
The GVH continues to monitor the hotel booking market after closing its sectoral inquiry* The Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal, GVH) prepared its report on its sectoral inquiry on the online accommodation booking market. Due to the positive changes that took place on (...)

The German Competition Authority terminates proceedings regarding possible abuse of dominance in the market for the distribution of passenger train tickets and accepts several commitments by the incumbent train company (Deutsche Bahn)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
By a decision of 24 May 2016, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) announced that it had terminated proceedings against Deutsche Bahn AG after having accepted several commitments. In 2014, the FCO initiated an investigation against Deutsche Bahn AG and reached the preliminary conclusion that (...)

The German Competition Authority announces that, following its investigations, a railway company has decided to make far-reaching changes to the sale of passenger tickets (Deutsche Bahn)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Deutsche Bahn AG to make changes to ticket sales* Following investigations by the Bundeskartellamt, Deutsche Bahn AG has undertaken to make far-reaching changes to the sale of passenger tickets. The measures will improve the ticket sales possibilities of its competitors. In early 2014 the (...)

The French and German Competition Authority publish a joint study on competition law and data
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The French Autorité de la concurrence and the German Bundeskartellamt publish joint paper on data and its implications for Competition Law* The increasing collection, processing and commercial use of data in digital markets has prompted a broad debate about the role of data in corporate (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a technology company suspected of imposing restrictions on device manufacturers and mobile network operators (Google Android)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Google on Android operating system and applications* The European Commission has informed Google of its preliminary view that the company has, in breach of EU antitrust rules, abused its dominant position by imposing restrictions on (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections concerning the imposition of restrictions on smartphone manufacturers and mobile network operators (Google Android)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 April 2016, the European Commission confirmed it issued a Statement of Objections (“SO”) to Google concerning the imposition of restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators. The investigation was formally opened in April 2015. Google now has until July 2016 to (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a technology company suspected of imposing restrictions on device manufacturers and mobile network operators (Google Android)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
EU Commission Hits Google With Abuse Of Dominance Charges Over Android*Just as expected, following a one-year investigation and a number of information requests, the European Commission formally announced today that it is accusing Google’s parent company, Alphabet, of abusing its dominant (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court confirms the Competition Authority’s decision and prescription concerning the operating systems for smartphones (Yandex / Google)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
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Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
In March 2016, the Moscow Arbitration Court expressed its support of the position of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) on the case of abuse of dominance by the Google group of companies involving its actions on the Android operation system. The decision of FAS Russia was taken as (...)

The German Competition Authority initiates proceedings against a social network company regarding potential abuse of dominance (Facebook)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
The German Federal Cartel Office (the FCO) has announced that it has initiated proceedings against Facebook for the company’s alleged abuse of its dominant position in a market for social networks. The FCO appears to be taking the position that, as a firm with a possibly dominant position, (...)

The German Competition Authority opens a proceeding against a social network company suspected to have abused its dominance by infringing data protection rules (Facebook)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt initiates proceeding against Facebook on suspicion of having abused its market power by infringing data protection rules* The Bundeskartellamt has initiated a proceeding against Facebook Inc., USA, the Irish subsidiary of the company and Facebook Germany GmbH, Hamburg. The (...)

The UK High Court throws out a private claim for damages based on abuse of dominance in the online mapping sector (Streetmap / Google)
Constantine Cannon (London)
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Constantine Cannon (London)
Google wins court battle against StreetMap in the UK*Google won a big victory Friday in the High Court of England and Wales, which ruled that Google did not abuse its dominant position to the detriment of the now-defunct UK online mapping provider, Streetmap.The Court’s ruling against (...)

The German Competition Authority prohibits "best price" clauses implemented by an online hotel booking company (Booking.com)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Narrow ’best price’ clauses of Booking also anticompetitive* Today the Bundeskartellamt prohibited Booking (Booking.com Deutschland GmbH, Berlin, and Booking.com B.V., Amsterdam) from continuing to apply its ’best price’ clauses and ordered the hotel booking portal to completely delete the clauses (...)

The Irish Competition Authority publishes commitments made by an online hotel booking company (Booking.com)
Irish Competition Authority (Dublin)
Commission secures 5-year commitments from Booking.com* Commission secures 5-year commitments from Booking.com Accommodation providers in Ireland will have increased ability to offer lower prices Consumers will have greater access to more competitive rates Tuesday, 6th October 2015: The (...)

The Russian Competition Authority finds that a smartphone operating system developer abused its dominance on the market of pre-installed app stores (Google)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
“Google” abuses its dominant position on the market of pre-installed application stores in “Android” OS* The FAS Commission arrived to that conclusion on 14th September 2015, based on investigating the case against “Google Inc, Google Ireland” Ltd., “Google” Ltd. FAS found that “Google Inc. Google (...)

The German Competition Authority decides not to open formal proceedings against a search engine company in an ancillary copyright dispute (Google)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt takes decision in ancillary copyright dispute* Bonn, 09 September 2015: In the dispute between the copyright collecting society VG Media and Google, the Bundeskartellamt has decided not to open formal proceedings against Google regarding its conduct in connection with the (...)

The German Competition Authority condemns an athletic equipment company for restricting online sales of its small and medium-sized authorized dealers (Asics)
Ashurst (Milan)
Germany’s Federal Cartel Office finds ASICS’ restrictions of online sales illegal* On 27 August 2015, the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) concluded its proceedings concerning certain anticompetitive restrictions in the distribution system of ASICS Deutschland (“ASICS“), and found that ASICS breached (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority opens an ex officio investigation regarding an apps sales market (Google)
Croatian Competition Agency (Zagreb)
CCA investigation in Android apps sales market* Following some press articles claiming that the Croatian software companies were forced to open branch offices or find partners abroad because Google did not allow them to register for direct sale of their apps via the Google Play store, the (...)

The EU Commission opens an investigation on e-book’s distribution agreements concluded between several publishers and an electronic commerce company (Amazon)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission opens formal investigation into Amazon’s e-book distribution arrangements* The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into certain business practices by Amazon in the distribution of electronic books ("e-books"). The Commission will in particular investigate (...)

The Italian Competition Authority renders legally binding the commitments proposed by an online hotel booking company (Booking.com)
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
Commitments offered by booking.com: closed the investigation in Italy, France AND Sweden* On 21 April 2015, the Italian Competition Authority has rendered legally binding the commitments offered by Priceline Group’s companies Booking.com BV and Booking.com (Italy) and closed, with respect to (...)

The French Competition Authority obtains extensive commitments from an online hotel booking company (Booking.com)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence, in coordination with the European Commission and the Italian and Swedish authorities, has obtained particularly extensive commitments from Booking.com aiming to boost competition between online booking platforms and give hotels more freedom in commercial and (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority approves voluntary commitments of an online hotel booking company subject to a fine (Booking.com)
Klarna (Stockholm)
The Swedish Competition Authority decided, on 15 April 2015, to approve the voluntary commitments presented by Bookingdotcom Sverige AB and Booking.com BV (below, jointly referred to as “Booking.com”). The commitments are associated with a fine of SEK 5 million (approx. EUR 550 000) for (...)

The German Competition Authority sends a statement of objections to an online hotel booking company suspected of abuse of dominance (Booking.com)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt issues statement of objections regarding Booking.com’s ’best price’ clauses* Today the Bundeskartellamt has informed Booking.com Deutschland GmbH, Berlin, of its competition concerns regarding the continued use of ’best price’ clauses in its contracts with hotels in Germany. This (...)

The US District Court for the Northern District of California dismisses an antitrust claim for lack of proof of both the conduct and the injury (Google)
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach (Vienna)
Two recent victories for Google in the United States* On 20 February 2015 a federal judge in California dismissed an antitrust lawsuit against Google alleging that it violated antitrust laws by requiring makers of Android tablets and smartphones to designate Google as the default search engine (...)

Mergers

The German Competition Authority conducts parallel investigation into potential for cartelization and merger review proceedings resulting in a conditional approval of the joint venture (Telekom / EWE)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
Telekom and EWE, two of Germany’s largest telecommunications companies, sought to form a joint venture (JV) to expand the fire-optic broadband network in north-western Germany. On 21 March 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) launched two sets of parallel proceedings: an investigation (...)

The UK Competition Authority raises competition concerns regarding a merger in the markets of supply of IT systems used by airlines and travel agents to sell airline tickets (Sabre / Farelogix)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Sabre’s takeover of Farelogix raises competition concerns* Sabre’s proposed takeover of Farelogix raises competition concerns in the supply of IT systems used by airlines and travel agents to sell airline tickets. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating the proposed (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears the takeover of a mobile payments company after conducting an in-depth Phase 2 probe (PayPal / iZettle)
CRA International (London)
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CRA International (London)
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CRA International (Boston)
Acquisitions of Potential Rivals in Digital/Tech: Valuation Analysis as Key Economic Tool - PayPal/iZettle Antitrust authorities everywhere are increasingly concerned with so-called “killer acquisitions” – cases where an established incumbent buys up a small rival which might have the potential (...)

The UK Competition Authority clears a merger in the online and offline payment services market (PayPal / iZettle)
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA clears PayPal / iZettle deal* The CMA has cleared PayPal’s completed takeover of rival mobile payments company iZettle after an in-depth, Phase 2, investigation. Both companies provide mobile point of sale (mPOS) devices that enable businesses to take ‘offline’ payments through a card reader (...)

The Mexican Competition Authority submits to public consultation the draft modifications to the guidelines for concentration notification via electronic means and the draft modifications of the regulatory provisions on the use of electronic means
Mexican Competition Authority (Mexico City)
COFECE submits for public consultation the modification to the Guidelines for Concentration Notification via Electronic Means and the Regulatory Provisions on the Use of Electronic Means* • The consultation period for the Guidelines is 30 working days, while the period for the Provisions is 20 (...)

The French Competition Authority re-examines and eases merger remedies made by a leading pay TV provider (Canal+ International)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Pay TV in French overseas departments and regions* The Autorité de la concurrence has re-examined the commitments made by Canal+ International as part of the take-over of Mediaserv (now Canal+ Telecom) in 2014. Certain obligations have been maintained to preserve the competitive dynamic. (...)

The EU Commission clears the acquisition of a music recognition app by a Big Tech company that provides a digital music streaming service (Apple / Shazam)
Slaughter and May (Brussels)
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Slaughter and May (London)
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Slaughter and May (Brussels)
This article has been nominated for the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. Is Big Data a ‘friend’ or a ‘foe’ to consumers? Do the current EU merger control rules work for ‘Big Tech’ deals? The European Commission’s announcement that it has (...)

The French Competition Authority clears a merger on the online advertising market (Aufeminin / TF1)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Online advertising* The Autorité de la concurrence clears the acquisition of Aufeminin by TF1 On 16 March 2018, TF1 notified the Autorité de la concurrence of its acquisition of sole control of Aufeminin. Following the consultation of competitors and TF1’s clients along with an analysis of the (...)

The EU Commission decides to review a merger in the market of music recognition applications for smartphones (Apple / Shazam)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission to assess the acquisition of Shazam by Apple* The European Commission has accepted a request from Austria, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden to assess under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple. The Commission considers the (...)

The French Competition Authority unconditionally clears a merger between two real estate online platforms (Axel Springer / Concept Multimédia)
Epex Spot (Paris)
On 1st February 2018, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) unconditionally cleared in Phase II proceedings the planned acquisition of sole control of French company Concept Multimédia - which owns the real estate online platform Logic-Immo.com - by German group Axel Springer - which owns the (...)

The Russian Competition Authority clears the creation of a joint undertaking subject to remedies in the taxi market (Yandex / Uber)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS cleared merger between Yandex.Taxi and Uber, subject to conditions* On November 24, 2017 FAS agreed on the application of the Yandex N.V., Uber International C.V. for conclusion of an agreement on the creation of joint enterprise, subject to conditions. The results of analysis of the (...)

The US FTC files an administrative complaint challenging a proposed acquisition in the market for third-party paid referral services for senior living facilities and enters into a consent decree (Red Venture / Bankrate)
Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
This article has been nominated for the 2018 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. On November 3, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint challenging Red Ventures’ proposed acquisition of Bankrate. The FTC alleged that the deal (...)

The EU Commission fines a social network company for providing misleading information during a merger investigation (Facebook / WhatsApp)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission fines Facebook €110 million for providing misleading information about WhatsApp takeover* The European Commission has fined Facebook €110 million for providing incorrect or misleading information during the Commission’s 2014 investigation under the EU Merger Regulation of (...)

The EU Commission fines a company for providing incorrect or misleading information during its investigations on a merger (Facebook / WhatsApp)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On May 18, 2017, the European Commission (the “Commission”) fined Facebook €110 million for providing incorrect or misleading information during its 2014 investigation of its acquisition of WhatsApp The magnitude of the fine dwarfs the few penalties the Commission has imposed in the past for (...)

The EU Commission fines a big tech company for providing incorrect or misleading information during the merger control review process (Facebook / Whatsapp)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
THE LATEST: EU Commission Fines Facebook EUR 110 million for Providing Incorrect or Misleading Information* The Commission’s EUR 110 million fine on Facebook for breach of its procedural obligations under the EU merger control rules underscores the need to submit full, accurate and reliable (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger on the e-book online platform market (Rakuten / Tolino)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt clears acquisition of "tolino" e-book platform by Rakuten* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition by the Japanese online retailer Rakuten Inc. of the assets for the technical operation of the "tolino" e-book platform. The seller of the assets is Deutsche Telekom AG, (...)

The EU Commission sends a statement of objections to a social network suspected of having transmitted misleading informations concerning a merger (Facebook / WhatsApp)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Mergers: Commission alleges Facebook provided misleading information about WhatsApp takeover* The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Facebook alleging the company provided incorrect or misleading information during the Commission’s 2014 investigation under the EU Merger (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger subject to remedies on the professional social networks market (Microsoft / LinkedIn)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION APPROVES ACQUISITION OF LINKEDIN BY MICROSOFT, SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS* The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft. The decision is conditional on compliance with a series of commitments aimed at (...)

The EU Commission conditionally clears a merger in the professional social network market (Microsoft / LinkedIn)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
European Commission Approves Microsoft Acquisition of LinkedIn Subject to Conditions* On 6 December 2016, the European Commission cleared the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft, subject to Microsoft granting LinkedIn’s competitors access to certain LinkedIn tools. “BIG DATA” CONCERNS ANALYSED (...)

The French Competition Authority holds that the relevant market for retail distribution of electronic products comprises both physical and online stores (Fnac / Darty)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Rome)
THE FRENCH COMPETITION AUTHORITY HOLDS THAT THE RELEVANT MARKET FOR RETAIL DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC PRODUCT COMPRISES BOTH PHYSICAL AND ONLINE STORES* On 18 July 2016, the French Competition Authority (FCA or the Authority) cleared the acquisition of Darty by the Fnac group, a move which will (...)

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 Lithuanian Competition Authority prohibits a merger between two managers of classified ads websites for real estate and vehicles (AS Eesti Meedia / AllePAL OÜ)
Lithuanian Competition Authority (Vilnius)
Competition Council: Merger between classified ads websites restricted competition* On 6 May 2016, the Competition Council (hereinafter – KT) prohibited a merger whereby in 2014 AS Eesti Meedia acquired 100 per cent of AllePAL OÜ shares. KT found that the merger restricted competition in the (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger in the online advertising sector (Ströer / OMS)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
CLEARANCE OF TAKEOVER BU STÖER OF ONLINE MARKETING COMPANY OMS* In first phase proceedings the Bundeskartellamt has cleared plans by Ströer SE, Cologne, to acquire all the shares in OMS-Vermarktungs GmbH & Co. KG, Düsseldorf. The merger project affects the online advertising sector. Andreas (...)

The EU Commission approves the acquisition by a rival of a data center operator subject to the divestment of several data centers in Amsterdam, London, and Frankfurt (Telecity / Equinix)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION CLEARS ACQUISITION OF TELECITY BY EQUINIX, SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS* The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of data centre operator Telecity by rival Equinix subject to the divestment of a number of data centres in Amsterdam, London and Frankfurt. The (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger between major online dating platforms in phase II (EliteMedianet / Parship)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Major online dating platforms can merge* The Bundeskartellamt has cleared in second phase proceedings the planned acquisition of all the shares in EliteMedianet GmbH, Hamburg, by an investment fund of Oakley Capital Limited, London. The merger affects the market for online dating platforms, on (...)

The German Competition Authority clears a merger on the market of online real estate portals (Immonet / Immowelt)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
CLEARANCE OF MERGER BETWEEN IMMONET AND IMMOWELT* In the first phase of merger control the Bundeskartellamt has cleared plans by Axel Springer SE, Berlin to acquire sole control of Immowelt AG, Nuremberg and the launch of a joint venture between Immowelt AG and Immonet GmbH, Hamburg. The (...)

State Aids

The EU Court of Justice provides further guidance on how economic activities linked to non-economic functions must be treated in a State aid context (Aanbestedingskalender)
College of Europe (Bruges)
* Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into statutory rules exempting some financing incomes earned by foreign subsidiaries
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On 26 October 2017, the European Commission (the Commission) opened an in-depth investigation into UK statutory rules that exempt certain financing income earned by foreign subsidiaries of UK corporate taxpayers from UK tax. The Commission’s investigation will focus on whether the UK Controlled (...)

The EU General Court confirms that public funding of an e-platform for procurement purposes does not constitute a State aid (Aanbestedingskalender)
College of Europe (Bruges)
Activities linked to State prerogatives Economic activities which cannot be separated from the exercise of public powers cease to be economic in nature. Introduction The dividing line between economic and non-economic activities is in a permanent state of flux. Although it is now clear that (...)

Procedures

The Dutch Competition Authority imposes a fine of €1.84 million against a company for obstructing an on-the-spot inspection (WhatsApp)
ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
ACM HAS IMPOSED A FINE OF 1.84 MILLION EUROS FOR DELETING WHATSAPP CHAT CONVERSATIONS DURING A DAWN RAID* Dawn raids may become a nerve-racking experience for companies that are under scrutiny of competition authorities and their employees. During a dawn raid, which is performed without prior (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority imposes a fine of €1.84 million on a company for obstructing and deleting chat conversations during a dawn raid (WhatsApp)
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM HAS IMPOSED A FINE OF 1.84 MILLION EUROS FOR DELETING WHATSAPP CHAT CONVERSATIONS DURING A DAWN RAID* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has imposed a fine on a company for obstructing an ACM investigation. During a recent dawn raid, employees of the company under (...)

The Vice-President Margrethe Vestager announces the intention to launch the review of the Commission Notice on the definition of relevant market
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
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Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
On 9 December 2019, the Commission’s Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager announced the Commission’s intention to launch the review of the Commission Notice on the definition of relevant market for the purposes of Community competition law (‘the Notice’). The Notice dates back from 1997 and (...)

The French Competition Authority can access data of electronic communication operators in order to investigate anticompetitive practices
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence will now be able to access the data of electronic communication operators* The PACTE Law for the Growth and Transformation of Companies of 22 May 2019, has given the Autorité de la concurrence new power to investigate anticompetitive practices. The law now allows (...)

The Swedish Competition Authority initiates a market study on competition law in the Swedish markets for digital platforms
Swedish Competition Authority (Stockholm)
MARKET STUDY OF DIGITAL PLATFORMS* The Swedish Competition Authority is initiating a market study into competition on the markets for digital platforms in Sweden. This includes, for example, digital advertising, food delivery, audiobooks, and digital payment services. The study will illuminate (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf suspends the decision of the German Competition Authority which prevented data gathering practices from a social network company (Facebook)
Ashurst (Frankfurt)
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Ashurst (London)
On 26 August 2019, the Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf suspended the German Federal Cartel Office’s (’FCO’ or Bundeskartellamt) decision to prevent Facebook from combining user data from various sources such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and unrelated sites that use Facebook analytics and (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf grants a social network company the suspensive effect to an appeal in an interim decision (Facebook)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Frankfurt)
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White & Case (Dusseldorf)
In February of this year the German antitrust agency, the Federal Cartel Office, issued a decision against Facebook regarding their handling of user data. Facebook appealed and on August 26, 2019, the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal in an interim decision granted suspensive effect to Facebook’s (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf orders suspensive effect of an appeal against FCO decision concerning a social network company (Facebook)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 26 August 2019, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (the “Court”) granted Facebook’s request for an injunction against the immediate application of measures imposed by the German Federal Cartel Office (the “FCO”) arising from the FCO’s finding in February 2019 that Facebook abused its dominant (...)

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf suspends an order of the German Competition Authority on an alleged abuse of dominance in the social networks (Facebook)
Baker Botts (London)
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Baker Botts (Washington)
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Baker Botts (Brussels)
On 26 August 2019, a German appeal court suspended an order of the German competition authority (the “FCO”) which had found that Facebook’s data processing practices in Germany constituted an abuse of dominance in breach of German antitrust rules (the “decision”). Expressing serious doubts as to the (...)

The Beijing High People’s Court releases guidelines on Internet-related intellectual property rights trials
University of Melbourne
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China Competition Bulletin (Beijing)
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Hogan Lovells (Beijing)
On 13 April 2016, the Beijing High People’s Court released the Guideline on the Trial of Internet-Related Intellectual Property Right Cases. The guideline contains 42 provisions, covering copyright, trademark, and unfair competition issues. Specifically, there are two competition-related (...)

The Irish High Court finds that the Competition Authority has exceeded its dawn raid powers in seizing digital material in bulk (CRH / CCPC)
McCann FitzGerald (Dublin)
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McCann FitzGerald (Brussels)
Introduction In CRH plc v The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission the Irish High Court found that the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“CCPC”) had exceeded its dawn raid powers in seizing digital material in bulk. The High Court granted orders preventing the CCPC (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court confirms Commission’s decision ordering for a transportation company to suspend operations in Bulgaria for immediate enforcement (Uber)
Mondelez (Sofia)
On September 23, 2015 the five-member panel of the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court confirmed the decision of the Commission on Protection of Competition for immediate enforcement of the decision ordering for Uber to suspend operations in Bulgaria. On June 30, 2015, the CPC adopted its (...)

Regulations

The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy publishes the draft bill on the 10th amendment to the German Act against restraints of competition
Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
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Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has published the draft bill on the 10th amendment to the German Act against Restraints of Competition, which includes a proposal for the revision of abuse control in Germany. Such revision would be of high relevance for undertakings in the (...)

The German Competition Authority issues a study on algorithms and competition
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Bundeskartellamt publication on “Algorithms and Competition“* Bonn, 16 January 2020: As a follow up to its joint study with the French Autorité de la concurrence on Algorithms and Competition the Bundeskartellamt has published a new paper on this theme. The paper appears in the Bundeskartellamt’s (...)

The Indian Competition Authority publishes a report on its market study on e-Commerce in India and focuses on the three broad categories of e-commerce in consumer goods, accommodation services, and food services
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai)
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Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (New Delhi)
The CCI published a report on its Market Study on E-Commerce in India. The Study focused on the three broad categories of e-commerce in consumer goods, accommodation services and food services. After giving an overview of trends in and features of e-commerce, the CCI identified and discussed (...)

The Indian Competition Authority releases a market study on e-commerce
National Law University (Punjab)
Introduction In April 2019, the Competition Commission of India (“Commission”) had announced a market study into the functioning of ‘E-Commerce’ in India. The focus area of the study was to gather information relating to “trends, practices and issues” which are relevant to the fair and competitive (...)

The Indian Competition Authority publishes a market study on e-commerce platforms
Trilegal (Mumbai)
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Trilegal (Bangalore)
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Trilegal (Mumbai)
The growth of e-commerce and online marketplaces has had a significant impact on businesses and consumer behaviour. Competition authorities worldwide are increasingly focused on assessing competition concerns on online platforms, including United Kingdom (UK), Australia, the European Commission (...)

The Canadian Competition Bureau announces that agencies and brands involved in influencer marketing have to comply with the Competition Act
Steve Szentesi Law Corporation (Vancouver)
INFLUENCER ADVERTISING: COMPETITION BUREAU INCREASES PRESSURE ON BRANDS AND AGENCIES TO COMPLY WITH THE COMPETITION ACT* Practical Law Canada has published a New Legal Update, which discusses the Competition Bureau’s new guidelines for influencer advertising. While the Bureau’s new guidelines (...)

The French Competition Authority and the German Competition Authority present their joint study on algorithms and competition law
French Competition Authority (Paris)
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German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Algorithms are among the most important technological drivers of the ongoing digitalization process. They are becoming more and more important, enabling firms to be more innovative and efficient. However, debate has arisen on whether and to what extent algorithms might also have detrimental (...)

The French and German Competition Authorities publish a joint study on algorithms and competition law
Court of First Instance of Namur (Namur)
On 6 November 2019, the French and German competition authorities presented their joint study on algorithms and competition at a conference in Paris. The study recognises algorithms as one of the “most important technological drivers of the ongoing digitalization process” but also identifies a (...)

The German Competition Authority issues a report relating to the common understanding of G7 Competition Authorities on competition and the digital economy
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Common Understanding on competition in the digital economy* The competition authorities of the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, USA), together with the European Commission, have today presented the Common Understanding they have reached on the issues raised (...)

The Italian Competition Authority publishes guidelines and policy recommendations for big data aimed to understand the implications that developments in digital economy have for antitrust, regulation and consumer protection
Ashurst (Brussels)
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Ashurst (Milan)
BIG DATA: ITALIAN AUTHORITIES PUBLISHED GUIDELINES AND POLICY RECOMMENDATION ON COMPETITION, CONSUMER PROTECTION AND DATA PRIVACY ISSUES* Introduction On July 10, 2019, the Italian Competition Authority (“ICA”), the Authority for the Communications Guarantees (“AGcom”), and the Authority for the (...)

The Italian Competition Authority issues with two others Italian authorities guidelines and recommendations related to policies for Big Data
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
Big data: the guidelines and recommendations of policies shared by the three Authorities* The Italian Competition Authority, the Authority for the Communications Guarantees and the Authority for the protection of personal data have published the guidelines and recommendations of policies for (...)

The French Competition Authority announces that seven regulators have published a joint memo of their common approach to data-driven regulation
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Cooperation between regulators* Seven regulators publish the fruit of their common approach to data-driven regulation Data-driven regulation, an additional tool for regulators In this era of unceasing innovation, regulators rely more and more on the collection, utilisation and publication of (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes an annual report 2018 and a biannual activity report 2017/2018
Court of First Instance of Namur (Namur)
On 27 June 2019, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) published its annual report 2018 and biannual activity report 2017/2018. The reports include statistics on the total amounts of fines, leniency applications and merger pro-ceedings, describe the FCO’s policies and the key cases which the (...)

The German Competition Authority issues its final report on inquiry into comparison websites
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Sector inquiry on comparison websites - Bundeskartellamt wants to terminate infringements of consumer rights and demands new competences* Today the Bundeskartellamt has published the final report on its inquiry into comparison websites. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: (...)

The EU Commission publishes a report on competition policy for the digital era
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
“Digital Era” Report Bolsters Commissioner Vestager’s Digital Legacy* On April 4, 2019, the European Commission published a report by Jacques Crémer, Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, and Heike Schweitzer on competition policy for the digital era (the Digital Era Re port, or the Report), the culmination (...)

The U.S. FTC announces the launch of a new Technology Task Force to investigate anticompetitive conduct, review past transactions, and contribute to pending merger reviews
McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
THE LATEST: FTC’s New “Technology Task Force” Has Broad Mandate Including Review of Consummated Transactions* The US Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Competition announced the launch of a new Technology Task Force that will investigate anticompetitive conduct, review past transactions, (...)

The French Competition Authority takes into account the emergence of online video platforms in its opinion on the audiovisual sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Audiovisual sector* In the context of the reform of the audiovisual sector, the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Education of the French National Assembly (Assemblée nationale) referred this matter to the Autorité de la concurrence, which today delivers its opinion. In the face of the digital (...)

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 hosts conference to address the challenges of digitization for competition policy
Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
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Callol, Coca & Asociados (Madrid)
“Shaping Competition Policy in the era of digitization”: The European Commission hosts a conference with academic and business leaders to address the challenges of digitization for competition policy. On 17 January 2019, the European Commission hosted an experts conference to address the (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on e-commerce
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
1. Introduction 1. E-commerce – broadly, buying and selling online – is a global phenomenon and an important expanding distribution mechanism across the OECD. During the last decade, e-commerce activities have been growing both in the demand and supply side, as seen by the increasing number of (...)

The OECD holds a roundtable on blockchain technology and competition policy
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
1. Introduction 1. Blockchain is a general-purpose technology that threatens to disrupt markets and institutions across the world. Where the internet enabled the publishing and digital transfer of information, blockchain authenticates the ownership of assets, makes them unique, traceable, and (...)

The EU Commission publishes draft legislation for regulating online platforms and search engines
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
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Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
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Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
This article has been nominated for the 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. New proposed EC Regulation would impose transparency obligations vis-à-vis business users and introduces collective redress. Background Businesses increasingly (...)

The EU Parliament and EU Council adopt geo-blocking regulation
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Paris)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
The so-called Geo-Blocking Regulation, Regulation (EU) 2018/302, became directly applicable throughout the European Union on 3 December 2018. The Regulation is part of the European Union’s single market strategy to enable consumers and businesses to benefit fully from the opportunities offered (...)

The EU Parliament and EU Council adopt ban on unjustified geo-blocking regulation
Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
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Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
EU Adopts Ban on Unjustified Geo-Blocking* The new EU geo-blocking regulation prohibits unjustified geo-blocking. Businesses selling online should review carefully their terms and sales organization to ensure compliance. On 27 February 2018, the European Union (EU) adopted the EU geo-blocking (...)

The Canadian Telecom Regulator has an opportunity to effectively control online piracy based on a proposal from a coalition of telecom operators and rights holders (FairPlay Canada)
International Center for Law & Economics (Portland)
The Canadian Parliament Has an Opportunity to Effectively Control Online Piracy In an ideal world, it would not be necessary to block websites in order to combat piracy. But we do not live in an ideal world. We live in a world in which enormous amounts of content—from books and software to (...)

The Australian Competition Authority launches an inquiry into digital platforms
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC commences inquiry into digital platforms* The Federal Government has today formally directed the ACCC to commence an inquiry into digital platform providers such as Facebook and Google. The ACCC’s inquiry will look at the effect that digital search engines, social media platforms and (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes a paper on "Big Data and Competition" as Big Data and digital markets remain in the focus of EU competition authorities
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
,
Hogan Lovells (Munich/Frankfurt)
I. Introduction On 6 October, the German Federal Cartel Office (’FCO’) launched its new series of papers on ’Competition and Consumer Protection in the Digital Economy’. The first paper deals with ’Big Data and Competition’. The same day, a ’real-life example’ of competition enforcement in Big Data (...)

The EU Court of Justice Advocate General Szpunar delivers his opinion in a case regarding the concept of information society service (Uber Spain)
MLAB Abogados
Quo Vadis EU law on e-platforms? A comment on the Advocate General’s Opinion in the Uber Spain Case. 1. Introduction: Background of the case In 2014, Uber launched its UberPOP service in Barcelona and Madrid. UberPOP enables users of Uber’s App to request a transport service from (...)

The EU Commission publishes report on online hotel booking platforms in collaboration with several national competition authorities
DG COMP (Brussels)
The European Commission publishes the results of an exercise, carried out by the Autorité de la concurrence and 9 other national European competition authorities, which assess the effects of the remedies adopted in Europe in the online hotel booking sector.* Background Following the (...)

The OECD holds roundtable on dig data
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Executive summary, by the Secretariat * The 126th meeting of the Competition Committee held a Hearing on 29 November 2016 to discuss Big Data and the challenges of adapting competition policy to the digital economy. Considering the background note prepared by the OECD Secretariat with the (...)

The French Competition Authority issues an unfavorable opinion concerning draft orders for online sales of medicinal products
French Competition Authority (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 French Competition Authority publishes opinion regarding the implementation of a new online taxi platform (Le.taxi)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité has published the opinion issued to the Government on the implementation of the Le.taxi platform* Following publication of the texts launching the Le.taxi service, the Autorité de la concurrence has published the opinion it issued to the Government. Subject to compliance with a (...)

The OECD holds roundtable on competition and disruptive innovation in the financial markets
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Competition delegates held a hearing on disruptive innovation in financial markets on 26 October 2015. This hearing examined selected financial market innovations, with a particular view to enhancing competition authority awareness of new and developing competitive alternatives. It focused on: (...)

The German Competition Authority publishes discussion paper on internet platforms in merger control, contractual restrictions of competition and abuse of dominance scenarios
Heinz & Zagrosek (Köln)
The FCO publishes discussion paper on internet platform markets* On October 1, 2015, the FCO published a paper entitled “Digital economy – internet platforms between competition law, privacy and consumer protection” on the occasion of a conference of the working group competition law (consisting (...)

The OECD holds roundtable on disruptive innovations and their effect on competition
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
Executive summary, by the Secretariat On 16 June 2015, the OECD Competition Committee held a Hearing on Disruptive Innovation (“Hearing”). The purpose of the Hearing was to discuss competition policy responses to new technologies or business models that have the potential of profoundly (...)

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