Debate in the competition law community has intensified around the issue of enforcement in digital markets in recent months with (yet another) significant antitrust fine being levied against Google, the Bundeskartellamt’s Facebook decision, and (most recently) the European Commission’s Report on Competition policy for the digital era. The emergence of digital markets (and these recent…

On 26 February 2019, the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (“ACM”) published renewed guidelines on both vertical and horizontal restraints. These documents are likely published to reflect the new strategy of the ACM: the stricter enforcement of vertical and horizontal restraints with a focus on vertical price fixing, online sales restraints, purchasing cartels and agreements…

EU competition policy: based on political discretion? Many would agree that Brussels’ legislative priorities guide competition policy and enforcement. Under President Juncker’s mandate, the creation of an Energy Union, a Single Digital Market, and a better functioning internal market have been at the top of the agenda. In a recent interview with the Guardian, EU’s…

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…

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and two Dallas therapist staffing companies have settled charges that they conspired to fix the wages of contract therapists in violation of the federal antitrust laws.  This is the FTC’s first enforcement action under its joint guidelines with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on hiring and compensation issued in 2016. …

Indian sectoral regulators were vested with competition-related powers on account of an economic wisdom which favoured regulation, which has started to lose its relevance since the development of the competition law regime. Despite this, the Indian courts have resolved the issue of jurisdictional duplicity by excluding the competition authority, instead of the sectoral regulators. This…

On May 14, 2018, the German and Austrian competition authorities have published joint draft guidelines on the new transaction value merger thresholds, including an English translation (see here). Comments can be submitted by June 8, 2018. It would certainly be helpful if members of the legal and economic community from jurisdictions with similar transaction size…

Important new developments are reported in the first case under Hong Kong’s cross-sector antitrust statute, the Competition Ordinance (“Ordinance“), in effect since December 2015. The hearing for the case is scheduled in June/July 2018. Under the Ordinance, enforcement action may only be undertaken by the Competition Commission (“HKCC“), and by the Communications Authority in the…

The Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) announced on February 1, 2018, to launch a sector inquiry into online advertising (here). This in line with the FCO’s focus on competitive conditions in the digital economy and big data. The FCO follows the French competition authority that started a separate online advertising sector inquiry in 2016 and has…

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 that Facebook abuses its dominant position through imposing unfair general terms and conditions (“t&cs”). The published materials provide some interesting…