It is becoming increasingly common for companies to set prices for their products automatically using algorithms. One recent study found evidence of more than 500 sellers using algorithmic pricing on Amazon marketplace (see here). The Commission’s Preliminary Report on the E-commerce Sector Inquiry also reported use of automatic price adjustments (see paragraph 552). There are…

Hurtling 175 meters below the Franco-Swiss border at near light speed are compact beams of particles, guided by superconducting electromagnets cooled to a temperature colder than outer space itself. At the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, physicists are searching for an elusive but all-embracing theory to unite quantum mechanics and general…

With her delivery of the UK’s Article 50 notice on March 29, Theresa May has launched the two-year negotiating process leading to the first exit of a Member State from the European Union (EU).  The negotiations will affect virtually every economic and policy area in Europe, including competition policy. These effects will be felt first…

Will Germany establish a “Digital Agency” to monitor compliance with competition law rules in digital markets? Will a German “Digital Antitrust Enforcer” become a role model for a European protectionist approach against American and Asian platform providers? The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy seems to see a pressing need for regulation in…

Following the Parliament’s approval in early March, the Federal States Council, Germany’s second legislative chamber, has approved the most recent reform to German competition law on March 31, 2017. The new law will enter into force upon publication in the German official journal, presumably end of April/beginning of May. The reform was triggered by the…

The European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has emphasised two important developments for EU antitrust enforcement, which have emerged from technological advancements: The Commission is taking proactive steps to consider whether the increasing reliance on computers to handle business processes and decisions raises competition law issues.  One area of current concern is the use of algorithms, in…

In its recent draft annual plan, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) committed itself “to further step up the pace, scale and impact of our enforcement against anticompetitive or unfair practices.” It therefore intends to increase, to at least six, the number of new civil investigations it undertakes under Chapter I of the Competition Act…

Speaking at a recent conference in Hong Kong, the President of the Hong Kong Competition Tribunal, Mr Justice Godfrey Lam, examined whether parties might seek remedies for anti-competitive acts in Hong Kong based on common law economic torts without relying on follow-on actions under the Competition Ordinance. A follow-on action is a private action for…

“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” Introduction This quote from Alfred, Lord Tennyson might – I sincerely hope after recent events – be applicable to life generally in Brussels in 2017. But not so – I fear – in the world of EU merger control. It…

By Falk Schöning, Partner, and Peter Citron, Counsel, Hogan Lovells 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 preliminary report on its e-commerce sector inquiry. While commenting on the release of the report, EU…