Blog o’ Blogs March 2016

February kicks off with a big surprise as the US Supreme Court loses an Iconic figure with significant impact on today’s Antitrust landscape. Authorities around the world continue to grapple with the implications of disruptive technologies and the digital age, with some possible lessons for companies and authorities alike. Join us as we look back at February’s leap into the antitrust trail.


A Quick Take on Justice Scalia’s Legacy on Antitrust Law
The late Justice Antonin Scalia was not the biggest fan of antitrust law. As he famously quipped during his Senate confirmation hearing: “In law school, I never understood [antitrust law]. I later found out, in reading the writings of those who now do understand it, that I should not have understood it because it did not make any sense then.”
Amar Naik(Antitrust Law Blog)

The Economics of Pay To Delay Deals
On Friday 12 February 2016, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issued drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a £37.6 million fine with an additional £7.4 million imposed on partner drug manufacturers for engaging in a so-called ‘pay for delay’ or ‘pay to delay’ deal that lasted from 2001 to 2004 for its antidepressant drug Seroxat.
Farasat Bokhari (Competition Policy News)

Antonin Scalia’s telecommunications legacy
Before there was U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, or federal Judge Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, there was a young lawyer in the Nixon administration by that same name. He was more commonly called Nino, and those he worked with knew he had a bright future in the nation’s capital.Stuart N. Brotman (Brookings)

AUDIO: Is information market power? Protecting consumers and competition in the digital age
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), tasked with protecting American consumers, faces many new issues in antitrust and consumer protection. With the technological advances of the digital age, the intersection of data privacy and innovation markets is a new frontier for the FTC.  Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the European Commission is looking at the power of digital platforms.  How will these issues affect global markets and the flow of data across borders?Terrell McSweeny (Brookings)

Uber and Transport for London: a case study in regulatory behaviour
In 2009, It’s My Party, Inc. (IMP) sued Live Nation (LN) in federal district court in Maryland alleging anticompetitive tying, bundling, and other forms of monopolization. In February 2015, the court granted Live Nation’s second summary judgment motion. IMP appealed, surely thinking that it was LN’s turn to cry.
Steven J. Cernak (Antitrust Connect)

Hub and Spoke antitrust conspiracies: The classic case of Toys – R – Us vs. FTC
The paradigm example of an antitrust conspiracy is the smoke-filled room of competitors with their evil laughs deciding what prices their customers are going to pay. This is a horizontal conspiracy and is a per se violation of the antitrust laws.Jarod Bona (The Antitrust Attorney Blog)

Streetmap v Google: lessons for pending Article 102 TFEU cases (including Google itself)
The High Court of England and Wales ruled on the dispute between Streetmap and Google (see here). It is a really interesting read, and one that shows that – whether or not one agrees with the outcome – courts can deal effectively with complex competition law matters.
Pablo Ibanez Colomo (Chilling Competition)

Restrictions on Innovation in EU Competition Law
This paper discusses, in light of the practice of the European Commission, the different ways in which innovation considerations can be introduced in EU competition law. In some cases, such considerations have played an indirect role in the analysis. These are instances in which harm to innovation has been presumed or inferred by proxy from the effects of a practice on the competitive process (for instance, the foreclosure of a rival or the creation of a near monopoly).
Daniel D. Sokol

FIFPro challenge the football transfer system
FIFPro, the union for professional footballers, which represents more than 65,000 players from around the world, lodged a formal complaint with the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission in September, against FIFA and its member associations, challenging the global transfer market system for football. Here we discuss the background to this challenge and the issues raised by it, before considering its likely outcomes and implications.
By Nick de Marco (Sports Law Bulletin)

FCC Majority Approves Anticompetitive Rulemaking that Would Reduce Efficiency in Video Programming
On February 18, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted three-to-two in favor of a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) fancifully entitled “Expanding Consumers’ Video Navigation Choices, that will “create a framework for providing innovators, device manufacturers, and app developers the information they need to develop new technologies
Alden Abbott (Truth on the Market)

Justice Scalia, Monopolization, and Economic Efficiency
The late Justice Antonin Scalia’s magisterial contributions to American jurisprudence will be the source of numerous learned analyses over the coming months.  As in so many other doctrinal areas, Justice Scalia’s opinions contributed importantly to the sound development of antitrust law, and, in particular, to the assessment of monopolization.Alden Abbott (Truth on the Market)

Precognitive Antitrust and Disruption
One of the things I have been saying about disruption is that when it potentially arises what potentially disrupted incumbents will try and do is acquire the disruptive entrant rather than be disrupted by them. Consequently, incumbents have an important tool in their arsenal that can be deployed if they face existent threats.
BY Joshua Gans (Digitopoly)

Brent Snyder’s Remarks On Individual Accountability for Antitrust Crimes

Brent Snyder, the Antitrust Division’s Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Enforcement, made extended remarks today at the Yale Global Antitrust Enforcement Conference (here). Mr. Snyder emphasized that the Division has long believed, and acted on this belief, that holding individuals accountable for antitrust crimes was both appropriate and the best means of deterrence.
Robert Connolly (Cartel Capers)

Venezuela is a country with a high level of state intervention in the economy. Comparatively speaking, it has one of the highest yearly average investment rates in Latin America in the period between 1992 and 2012. However, a big portion comes from the public sector, on average around 45 percent.
Juan David Gutiérrez R. (La Libre Competencia)