Starting with a spoiler: The answer is a clear YES! The draft Data Act published by the European Commission touches upon and is intertwined with antitrust in many ways. Here is why and how. The European Commission has tabled its proposal for the Data Act. The new rules are meant to introduce “measures for a … Continue reading The Data Act – an antitrust topic?
The European Commission has launched an “additional” public consultation on guidance regarding information exchange in dual distribution. More guidance is welcome, but timing is tight. This post provides a short overview of what the guidance/consultation are about and of their policy implications. The Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and the accompanying Vertical Guidelines lay out … Continue reading Dual distribution, information exchange, and the EC’s consultation – practical and policy highlights
Nearly unnoticed by the antitrust world, the German Bundeskartellamt has terminated proceedings against Google regarding so-called “Transport Layer Security Certificates”. With nearly daily decisions or new investigations against big tech, the termination of a proceeding without a finding or a fine appears almost rare. Here is a short run through the when, how, and why … Continue reading Not always against big tech: Bundeskartellamt terminates proceeding against Google
The European Commission has published its final report on the sector inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things (IoT), i.e., into “smart devices” like wearables, smart speakers or smart home products. The document is a pretty crisp summary of the consumer IoT as the Commission sees it and contains quite a number of hints on … Continue reading A few thoughts on the European Commission’s Internet of Things Sector Inquiry
The UK competition regulator CMA has ordered Facebook* to divest Giphy. Earlier this year, the CMA cleared Facebook’s acquisition of Kustomer in Phase I, a deal now under heavy scrutiny by the European Commission. As much as antitrust regulators emphasize a tough stance on acquisitions by big tech, is there a risk of diverging views? … Continue reading Facebook, Giphy, Kustomer – Regulators’ views diverging?
There currently is much debate about how joint purchasing should be assessed going forward, and whether existing purchasing alliances should face greater scrutiny. This piece highlights three key points on joint purchasing, antitrust, and the involved politics. The European Commission lays out its view of joint purchasing in its Horizontal Guidelines, published already in 2011. … Continue reading Joint purchasing – Three key points in the current clash
This year, a number of senior officials moved from some of Europe’s most important antitrust regulators into private practice. While these have not been the first times that high-ranking officials switched sides, several departures across Europe took place around the same time lately and regulators seem to deal with them quite differently.
Gas prices are rising in Europe and some are requesting an antitrust investigation into Russian Gazprom. Time to look at past cases against the company and their outcomes. As temperatures are getting colder, gas prices have almost tripled in Europe since the middle of this year. About 37% of EU gas imports stem from Russia, … Continue reading Gas price hike in Europe – the Gazprom cases
The Council of the EU has denied public access to documents relating to the Digital Markets Act. The reasoning is remarkable: The Council is afraid that disclosure would lead to a level of tech lobbying that would undermine the decision-making process. This comes at a time where tech is outspending all other sectors in EU … Continue reading The Digital Markets Act: EU Member States afraid of tech lobbying
This post takes a closer look at three of the transactions currently undergoing review in Europe with the heaviest political implications, and on what can be drawn from them. With M&A activity on record levels, times will be far from boring for antitrust and foreign investment control regulators. While transactions will be assessed on the … Continue reading A look at three of Europe’s most political transactions right now