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…

Let me get this straight from the beginning. I am not a big fan of the trend among the competition authorities to introduce whistleblowing programs. For me this seems to be rather a sign of weakness and not of strength. If other available tools (and especially the leniency program) worked well there would probably be…

The German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) terminated antitrust proceedings against toy manufacturer Lego on July 18, 2016, following Lego’s agreement to change its current rebate system. Lego will enable online retailers to obtain in practice the same amount of discounts as available for brick and mortar shops. The FCO had opened proceedings against Lego based…

In all competition investigations, it is inevitable that the parties under investigation, and often also third parties, will receive numerous information requests and demands to produce documents and provide information. Such requests may be either formal or informal in nature. These are often burdensome, requiring the provision of substantial information and documentation in a short…

This blog deals with the 2nd part of the FCO’s discussion paper on internet platforms: possible theories of harm and intervention of competition agencies. For the first part on general concepts please see my previous blog. Merger control The FCO explains that reducing the number of platforms may actually increase competition, due to the easier…

The Polish Competition Authority, which is the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (the “PCA”), has announced that, starting from 1 September 2015, it will be issuing statements of objections to undertakings and will set up an internal evaluation committee. These new tools are, in PCA’s own words, designed to “strengthen procedural…