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…

Introduction On 4 July 2019 a long-awaited Dutch legislative proposal regarding sustainability initiatives (“Wet ruimte voor duurzaamheidsinitiatieven“) was submitted to the Dutch House of Representatives. The proposal aims to foster collaboration between undertakings towards sustainability goals by removing the barrier of competition law. This is an interesting development because of at least two reasons: (i)…

Introduction The growth of e-commerce over the last decade has had a significant impact on most if not all retail markets. Trends like the increased importance of online sales, price transparency and the emergence of new market players such as online platforms significantly affected the distribution and pricing strategies of both manufacturers and retailers, not…

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 clauses) on its hotel booking platform with hotels in Germany, see press release here.  It thereby set a (preliminary) end to a long saga…

After Google has been fined several times for breach of (EU) competition rules the last couple of years, it might now be Apple’s turn. Last month (March 2019), Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission. The Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (“ACM”) immediately responded by stating that ACM is finalizing its…

Confidentiality, an inherent feature in commercial arbitration and a preferred one too, is of great importance to antitrust proceedings when information is supplied by any party. There are, however, two concepts envisaged within the Competition Act, confidentiality and privacy, although the nomenclature used in the General Regulations, 2009 is ‘confidentiality’ and this does not include…

Common ownership currently is one of the focus topics in the antitrust community. Einer Elhauge, a Harvard Law professor, has called it the “greatest anticompetitive threat of our times”. Others believe that there is no issue at all. The below gives an overview on the status of the debate and analyses the recent EU Commission…

Last week the Dutch government made international headlines with its share acquisition in Air France-KLM Holding (increasing its stake to 14%). According to the Dutch the acquisition was justified to have a seat at the table when it comes to the role of the Netherlands (read Schiphol) as an aviation hub to protect the public…

On September 4, 2018, the German Ministry for Economic Affairs has published a report by economic and legal experts analyzing some key issues of abuse of market power in the digital platform economy (see an English summary here.) The report provides an overview of the status quo and recommendations, and is understood to be the…

On 12 July, the UK Government published a White Paper setting out its proposal for a future UK-EU relationship, following Brexit. The type of UK-EU relationship which this envisages is unprecedented, reflecting from the UK’s perspective, the UK’s unique circumstances as a current EU Member State in full regulatory compliance with EU rules, and a…