When we earlier reported the German Facebook proceedings in terms of a legal opera [Link], this metaphor was, as I am afraid we have to admit, a little ill-fitting. As things now seem, we can observe a whole oeuvre, a whole cinematic universe, as a good number of spin-offs, sequels and side-stories centred around Facebook…

On May 27, 2021, the Commercial Court of Moscow City backed the Federal Antimonopoly Services of Russia (FAS) in a case against HeadHunter, a platform that provides a job search service in Russia. HeadHunter had blocked clients from using the program Robot Vera from its competitor Stafori to automate recruitment services. Instead, HeadHunter offered its…

Recently, Google and Apple have changed their policy for targeted online advertising. Privacy-conscious users have been switching to alternatives for years, however, completely avoiding being tracked by online tech giants is virtually impossible. Nevertheless, the online ad industry has grown tremendously in the last decade, and targeted behavioural advertising has become ubiquitous in the online…

On 7 February 2021, the Anti-Monopoly Commission of the State Council issued the Anti-Monopoly Guidelines for the Platform Economy (the Guidelines) clarifying the application of the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) to the potential anti-competitive practices of the online platforms. The issuance of the Guidelines sends a clear message to the online platforms that antitrust enforcement in…

The Kluwer Competition Law Blog is very happy to announce the first competition law issue of the International Law Talk Podcast. Just before Christmas, I talked to Gabriella Muscolo, Commissioner of the Italian Competition Authority, a specialist for big data, IP and competition law. We covered the whole bandwidth of big data and competition law,…

Large platforms acting as “digital gatekeepers” are increasingly drawing competition agencies’ attention. While no legal definition of a “gatekeeper” has been laid down yet,[1] this concept is meant to cover platforms that rely on significant network effects. A “gatekeeper” may also be a go-between, controlling access from one point to another. However, gatekeepers may refuse…

“I’ve been wondering how to give a metaphor because these are two quite complex proposals. And the best thing I came to think of was the first-ever traffic light that brought order in the streets, that was actually in the US, in Cleveland Ohio. And that was invented as a response to a major technological…

Introduction On 20 May 2020 the Dutch competition authority (“ACM”) conditionally cleared a new joint venture between transport company Pon Netherlands B.V. (“Pon”) and Dutch rail operator NS Groep N.V. (“NS”) creating a Mobility as a Service (“MaaS”) platform. The case was referred to the ACM by the European Commission (“Commission”) under Article 9 of…

Introduction In 2019 several studies have been published and discussions took place about digitalisation, online platforms and competition law. Many of us will probably have read the so-called Crémer, Furman, Stigler, and Lear-reports. The Netherlands did not lag behind. The Dutch government published amongst others a vision on data sharing between businesses and an updated…

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…