The European Commission’s Chief Competition Economist in a recent presentation specifically referred to the notion of “platform envelopment” and the possibilities of leverage.[1] His social-media posts about the power of search engines and browsers to gain advantages in other areas, such as videos, maps and shopping, suggest a sense of insecurity about the growing influence…

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…

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…

Gun-jumping is a “hot topic” and increasingly on the radar of competition authorities in Europe and across the globe.  As part of the OECD roundtable discussions, the European Union (and a number of other countries) recently submitted a note on the suspensory effects of merger notifications and gun-jumping (Article 7 of the EU Merger Regulation…

On December 17, 2018, the European Commission (EC) imposed on the clothing company Guess a hefty penalty of EUR 40 million for allegedly severe restrictions relating to the online sales activities of its authorized distributors.  The full text of the Decision was published by the EC on January 25, 2019. While the substance of the…

#1. The Commission’s big three worries: Data as a vital tool for doing business; platforms which control  access to important digital resources and then expand; killer acquisitions and other ways of blocking the path to innovation.  The Commission feels a great responsibility to “shape digitisation before it shapes us”.  While the existing legal toolkit is…

On 16 January 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU” or “Court”) dismissed the European Commission’s appeal against the annulment of its decision to prohibit the acquisition of TNT by UPS. The CJEU stressed the importance of respecting companies’ rights of defence as regards economic analysis and methodology used in merger control….

In this briefing, we describe how certain employment practices, such as no-poach or wage-fixing agreements, may infringe competition law, a topic that has recently taken centre stage in the US and is also firmly, although more discretely, on the radar of antitrust authorities in Europe, but perhaps not yet on that of companies. Here is…

On 17 December 2018 the European Commission issued the public version of its decision in the McDonald’s case (SA.38945). The Commission found, contrary to its initial conclusion in the opening decision, that Luxembourg did not grant illegal State aid to McDonald’s as a consequence of the exemption of income attributed to a US branch. If…

Introduction Servier v. Commission (Case T‑691/14) is the second decision of the General Court of the European Union on “pay-for-delay” patent settlements in the pharmaceutical industry,[1] following the 2016 decision of the Court on Lundbeck v. Commission (Case T-472/13).[2] In 2014, the European Commission imposed fines totalling €427.7 million for violations of European competition laws…