Dual distribution, information exchange, and the EC’s consultation – practical and policy highlights

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

Not always against big tech: Bundeskartellamt terminates proceeding against Google

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

A few thoughts on the European Commission’s Internet of Things Sector Inquiry

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

Facebook, Giphy, Kustomer – Regulators’ views diverging?

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?

Joint purchasing – Three key points in the current clash

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

Gas price hike in Europe – the Gazprom cases

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 Digital Markets Act: EU Member States afraid of tech lobbying

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

A look at three of Europe’s most political transactions right now

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