Blog o’ Blogs December 2014

December 2014, Volume 4, Number 12
The year ends with some of our old favorites—Google, pharm, cartel, and high-tech—but also with authorities sending confusing messages, political interference, and pleas for common sense. But one message is timeless: Happy Holidays and New Year, everyone! Thanks for reading, and see you in 2015.
Investors and Consumers
Competition law works to benefit society, not necessarily investors in individual companies.
Kevin Coates (21st Century Competition)
Follow-Up Note on Another Missed Opportunity for the Administration of Justice Across Europe
The Council had a simple alternative on its plate, but chose the more complicated—and expensive—one. Another missed opportunity. 
Marc Abenhaïm (AntitrustConnect Blog)
Playing for the gallery—On the European Parliament’s resolution on the unbundling of Google
The true problem is that something is wrong with separation of powers (even in the peculiar EU context) when the legislative branch steps into the application of the rules and puts pressure on the executive—acting as quasi judiciary—to interpret and enforce the rules in a given way. 
Alfonso Lamadrid (Chillin’Competition)
Is the Antitrust Division Starting a Broad Investigation of Price Fixing in the Generic Pharmaceuticals Market?
Pharmaceutical companies and antitrust practitioners should be aware of the Antitrust Division’s “omnibus” method of evidence gathering evidence in these matters.
Joan Marshall (Cartel Capers)
Government Tables Cross-Border Canada/U.S. “Price Gap” Law—Much Ado About Nothing?

The new draft bill appears significantly more benign than what had been anticipated earlier this year when the new rules were first announced.

Steve Szentesi (Canadian Competition and Regulatory Law)

Newsflash! Commercial contracts are often confidential (but that doesn’t make them anticompetitive)
The fact that such arrangements permeate the market and are adopted by both large and small competitors is a strong indication that such terms are pro-competitive.
Geoffrey Manne (Truth on the Market
Is the Head of Germany’s Bundeskartellamt Right to Suggest Criminal Law Sanctions are Too Severe for Cartels?
The question of whether convicted cartelists actually serve a custodial sentence is quite separate to the issue of whether criminalisation is possible. 
Andreas Stephan (Competition Policy Blog)
FTC Milestones: Cold War chills report on International Petroleum Cartel
What happened next no doubt reflects the sensitivities of America at the beginning of the Cold War, and later events, such as the formation of OPEC, dramatically changed the competitive dynamic of world oil markets.
Kelly Signs (FTC)
NOTE: This is one of an intriguing series of reports on important FTC milestones during its 100 year history; you can see the list of previous blogs atCompetition Matters
The costs of intervening
But what is particularly unusual about the Ethernet decision is that an order was made requiring an intervenor to pay some of the successful party’s costs.
Tristan Jones (Competition Bulletin)
Digitised Products: How about just giving up?
I believe the very concept of exclusive intellectual property with respect to recorded music has come to a natural end, or something like an end.
Joshua Gans (Digitopoly)
Forget about the European Parliament: foreclosure is the crucial aspect of the Google case
If Google’s alleged discriminatory conduct were really exclusionary, there would already be overwhelming evidence in this sense. If there is not, that fact alone should be a sufficient reason to close the investigation.
Pablo Ibáñez Colomo (Chillin’Competition)
Nobody likes to see a competitor get in trouble, but…
The “but” is that when a competitor is in trouble it may be the best time to focus compliance resources on a particular area.
Robert Connolly (Cartel Capers)
United Kingdom: Pride before a fall in online advertising restrictions or getting away with illegal behaviour that harms vulnerable consumers?
To ensure an effective and economically viable dealer network, manufacturers should impose a selective distribution system, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative selection criteria.
Matthew O’Regan (Kluwer Competition Blog)
Back to top