On August 5, 2022, the Italian Parliament adopted the 2021 Annual Law for Market and Competition (the “2021 Competition Law”), [1] the aim of which is to adapt the Italian system to EU competition rules and policies and to improve and liberalize markets affected by regulatory or economic barriers. The law reflects most of the…

The following is a selection of some of the most important developments in German competition law and policy in 2021.  It has been a busy year for the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”), inter alia because the new rules for digital companies took effect.  The following covers cases under these new rules, abuse of dominance, merger…

The long-awaited Google Shopping judgment is out (see the press release here and the full decision here). The General Court has dismissed Google’s action almost in its entirety, upholding the fine of € 2.42 billion that the EU Commission issued in 2017 on the company for abusing its dominance as a search engine by favouring…

In January 2021, the latest reform of the German competition law (“ARC”) entered into force, including significant new rules regarding digital platform markets.  These include new powers for the Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) under Section 19a ARC regarding digital gatekeepers with paramount cross-market significance for competition (for more details on the new norm, see here). A…

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…