Blog o’ Blogs February

February saw the continuing rise of the Digital Economy as possibly the biggest topic in Antitrust and privacy regulation throughout the world, as major mergers affecting the market shake things up for agencies still scrambling to adapt. Disagreements over algorithms and privacy protection take the spotlight, among other notable developments in more traditional areas of competition enforcement. African jurisdictions continue to expand and refine efforts, and US agencies take on questions of merger enforcement. Lots to pack into a short month…

Agree to Disagree: Competition Authorities Differ on Approach to Digital Platforms
Tech giants have captured the attention of competition agencies around the world. As we have previously shared, the FTC is in the midst of a series of hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century…
Amy Ray & Ellen Caro (Orrick)

Commissioner Vestager’s Digital Legacy
EU Commissioner Vestager is nearing the culmination of an ambitious year-long plan to shape EU competition policy in the digital sector for the next five-year Commission term to 2024 and beyond…
Jay Modrall (Lavoie Legal)

The EU OECD paper on gun-jumping
Gun-jumping is a “hot topic” and increasingly on the radar of competition authorities in Europe and across the globe.  As part of the OECD roundtable discussions, the European Union (and a number of other countries) recently submitted a note on the suspensory effects of merger notifications and gun-jumping…
Thomas Wilson (Kirkland & Ellis/Kluwer Competition)

South Africa: Overview of the Price Discrimination and Buyer Power Draft Regulations
The South African Competition Amendment Act was signed into law by the President on 13 February 2019. Two of the contentious aspects which were raised during the drafting of the Amendment Bill related to the price discrimination prohibitions and the introduction of express “buyer power” provisions…
Michael-James Currie (Africa Antitrust)

Doing double damage: The German competition authority’s Facebook decision manages to undermine both antitrust and data protection law
The German Bundeskartellamt’s Facebook decision is unsound from either a competition or privacy policy perspective, and will only make the fraught privacy/antitrust relationship worse.…
Geoffrey Mannel (Truth on the Market)

Court of Appeals’ Decision Upholding AT&T/Time Warner Merger Signals Hurdles in Vertical Merger Enforcement
Vertical mergers among high-tech companies likely became a bit easier today as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected the U.S. Justice Department’s effort to overturn the district court ruling that gave a green light to AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner…
Gary J. Malone (Constantine Cannon)

Moroccan Telecom Sector gets Competition Regulation
The fledgling Moroccan antitrust regime, which has never quite come off the ground, is now being supplemented in a sector-specific regulation, namely the recently gazetted Droit [Law] no. 121.12….
Editor (Africa Antitrust)

EU Court of Justice Confirms Annulment of Commission Prohibition Decision Due to a Procedural Irregularity
On 16 January 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) dismissed the appeal by the European Commission (Commission) against the 2017 judgment of the General Court of the European Union (GCEU)...
Mai Muto (Antitrust Alert)

The Bundeskartellamt’s Facebook Decision- What’s not to like? Well…
Earlier this month the Bundeskartellamt announced via this press release that it had “imposed on Facebook far-reaching restrictions in the processing of data”. According to its President, Andreas Mundt, this “can be seen as an internal divestiture of Facebook’s data”. The remedies are not the only thing that is far reaching in this case…
Alfonso Lamadrid (Chilling Competition)

FTC Approval of Staples-Essendant Merger Exposes Fault Lines on Merger Enforcement
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) recent approval of Staples, Inc.’s acquisition of office supply wholesaler Essendant, Inc.—on a party-line three-to-two vote—reveals the agency’s divergent political views on merger enforcement and vertical transactions…
Alex Cohen (Constantine Cannon)

Algorithms and Collusion: Has the CCI got it wrong?
Drug makers recently announced their 2019 price increases on over 250 prescription drugs….
Joanna Shepherd
 (Truth on the Market)

Ten Ways to Tell Whether You Have an Antitrust Claim
Law school exams are all about issue spotting. Sure, after you spot the issue, you must describe the elements and apply them correctly…
Jarod Bona (The Antitrust Attorney)

Dr. Ai Deng on Algorithmic Antitrust Compliance
I think it is time to explore how algorithms could help with antitrust compliance. This is the topic of my most recent article…
Ai Deng (Cartel Capers)