In this issue:
Antitrust Policy and Real Estate Markets
Let me start this short paper on the antitrust law governing multiple listings in the real estate brokerage industry with a conventional account. Thereafter I shall try to explain why this account, while not wholly wrong, is in at least one important respect incomplete.
The question is not “will” but “when” will antitrust enforcers challenge any new real estate broker association rules prescribing how the brokers compete.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice have pushed an antitrust enforcement agenda designed to reform the industry. In 2005, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division sued the National Association of Realtors. The FTC followed suit in 2006 by issuing a series of complaints against a number of real estate groups. Although they challenged slightly different policies, both agencies claimed that they were suing to protect new types of competition that had been stoked by the distribution of real estate listings over the Internet.
U.S. and EC Competition Policies and Innovative Markets
Innovation and competition go hand in hand. Innovative markets are competitive markets and innovative companies succeed in them. In the European Commission, as in competition authorities across the world, our focus is on ensuring that this happens in the most efficient and fair manner.
Is it likely that an antitrust enforcement agency will challenge a merger or other business arrangement solely because the arrangement creates adverse incentives for innovation? Some would argue that insurmountable obstacles prevent antitrust enforcers from pursuing a pure innovation case.
C. Boyden Gray
Although U.S. and EC antitrust law have converged considerably in the last few years, significant differences remain in the treatment of dominance under Article 82 of the EC Treaty. This difference is perhaps best illustrated by the number of dominance cases brought in the European Community in the high-tech arena against U.S. companies at the behest of other U.S. high-tech companies whose complaints have fallen on deaf ears in the United States.
GCP Authorities: Spain’s CNC
Carlos Pascual Pons
The new Spanish Competition Act, which was unanimously approved by the Spanish Parliament and came into force on the first of September 2007, introduces significant modifications to the system applied to date. This Act builds on the system designed by the 1989 Act, largely drawing on the experience gained at the Community and national level during the last two decades.
An Assessment of Deutsche Telekom
In its long-awaited ruling of April 10, 2008, the Court of First Instance upheld the decision of the European Commission imposing on the German incumbent operator Deutsche Telekom a fine of EUR 12.6 million for abuse of a dominant position on the market for local access to its fixed network.