This post explains (i) why there is friction between sustainability initiatives and competition law and (ii) how the EU Commission could take steps to address this. Recent EU developments suggest a renewed interest in this area: In November 2018, the EU Competition Commissioner hinted at a more worldly application of the EU competition rules by emphasising that…

#1. The Commission’s big three worries: Data as a vital tool for doing business; platforms which control  access to important digital resources and then expand; killer acquisitions and other ways of blocking the path to innovation.  The Commission feels a great responsibility to “shape digitisation before it shapes us”.  While the existing legal toolkit is…

Unlike recent merger cases where the Commission looked at the concentration of data within a merged entity, the Commission’s focus in Apple/Shazam was on vertical concerns, including as a result of access to Shazam customer data.  The focus was more about the potential impact on Apple’s rivals rather than whether the acquisition of data would…

The CMA’s recent “economic working paper” on the use of algorithms to facilitate collusion and personalised pricing follows on the heels of other work in this area (including by CMA) but is a bit different because it focuses on economic evidence and analysis. While there is nothing in it about the ‘lawfulness’ of a given…

Today’s decision imposes a record fine of €4.34 billion on Google. In such an innovative and competitive industry, a decision and fine on this scale sends the wrong message. This post argues there is no obvious foreclosure, explains why Microsoft/WMP is an inadequate precedent (though Microsoft/Skype, in contrast, is directly on point), and asks whether…

India’s competition authority (the CCI) imposed a record-breaking fine of US$750,000 (50 million rupees) on General Electric (GE) earlier this year for failing to notify its tie-up with Alstom S.A. within the deadline required by the country’s merger control rules. The CCI is increasingly active in enforcing its merger regime. Since GE’s case, the CCI…

While higher concentration/oligopoly should not lead in itself to greater problems, the reality is that agencies may be more suspicious; extra laws may apply; and complaints might be more likely. This blog post sets out the things that companies can do to preserve their commercial freedom and freedom from investigation: Contacts with competitors One area…

The EU’s Court of Justice has ruled (in Case C-345/14 Maxima Latvija) that a clause in a property lease, between a mall owner and a supermarket ‘anchor tenant’, which gives that tenant the ‘right to approve’ the granting of leases to competing stores is not anti-competitive ‘by object’. This means that any investigating authority/court would…