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…

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…

On February 7, 2019, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) issued its long-awaited decision in the Facebook case, see press release and background paper in English here. It qualifies Facebook’s current practice of collecting and matching data of its users from third-party services/websites, including on What’sApp and Instagram, without explicit consent as an abuse of dominance.  Facebook…

I. Introduction to the internet consultation On 19 December 2018 the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (“Ministry”) started an internet consultation on competition law and online platforms, in particular on the question whether additional regulation is required to deal with the challenges these platforms bring. Online platforms, such as Google, Amazon and Facebook,…

In September 2018, the European Commission (“EC”) sent out formal requests for information (“RFIs”) to investigate allegations of an anticompetitive conduct by Amazon. The investigation relates to the interdependencies between Amazon’s third-party sales platform for retailers (“Amazon Marketplace”) and Amazon’s own online retail operations. Operating both on an upstream intermediation market for businesses (“merchants”) and…