On 26 January 2015, the Dutch competition authority announced its decision that industry-wide initiatives for the “Chicken for Tomorrow” in the Netherlands restrict competition. The ACM reached this conclusion on the basis of extensive economic research assessing the extent to which consumers value the benefits that the “Chicken for Tomorrow” would bring in terms of…

One of the functions that trade and professional associations often perform is to help “regulate” the business conduct of their members, often through the vehicle of “codes of ethics”. When properly applied, “self-regulation” of this type can protect consumers, reduce regulatory burdens for industry members, and enhance an industry’s reputation with government bodies and the…

In October 2014, the Commission published the result of its long-awaited food retail study. The study provides an extensive empirical analysis of the impact of bargaining power and private label on choice and innovation. However, the study suffers from a crucial shortcoming: none of the countries with high levels of retail concentration have been included…

In March 2014, the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) announced that it had adopted a decision finding that a leading manufacturer of mobility scooters, Pride, had illegally prevented its dealers from advertising prices online, other than its recommended retail price (“RRP”). This followed an earlier decision, adopted in August 2013, finding a slightly different infringement…

Just over a year ago, I wrote (rather extensively) on the European Commission’s public consultation entitled “Towards more effective EU Merger Control” in which the Commission proposed to (i) expand its powers to review non-controlling minority interests and (ii) streamline the case referral system between the European Commission and NCAs (see here). Our regular readers…

I. INTRODUCTION Perhaps more than ever, tensions between suppliers and retailers have become the defining feature of the grocery industry worldwide. These tensions have also frequently formed the basis for interventions (or proposed interventions) by competition enforcement authorities in this sector. Canada is no exception to this global trend. The Canadian retail grocery industry is…

The proceedings brought by the European Commission against Google are nearing a – provisional – end with the prospect of a decision making binding on Google a revised set of commitments (see here for the Commission statement and here for the full text of the proposed commitments). Independently of their merits in addressing the Commission’s…

On February 11, 2014, the Canadian government included in its federal budget a proposed amendment to the Competition Act to prohibit unjustified price discrimination to reduce the gap between consumer prices in Canada and the United States. The Minister of Finance made clear that the Commissioner of Competition, the head of Canada’s Competition Bureau, would…

1. Introduction The growing popularity of credit and other payment cards among consumers has been accompanied by an increase in the regulatory and legal scrutiny of the terms governing the availability and use of these cards. One focus of concern has been on whether “interchange fees” are set and administered by operators of card networks…

On 31 January 2013, the European Commission (DG Internal Market) published a Green Paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain in Europe. One of the issues that the Green Paper deals with is the use by some suppliers of territorial supply constraints – described as impeding retailers’ ability to…