In this issue:
The CFI’s Judgment in Deutsche Telekom
The Deutsche Telekom case is notable insofar as it finally brings legal certainty to a complex area of practice where law and economics collide, and which is a strategically important precedent for the European Commission given the liberalization of ex-utility sectors that will no doubt give rise to many more margin squeeze cases in practice. That legal certainty has been won, however, at the expense of some much-needed analytical sophistication being developed on how to deal with complex pricing policies in the wake of disruptive technological change. It is, in short, a very blunt legal precedent.
The CFI ruling in Deutsche Telekom provides some clarity on the issues of (i) price squeeze as a stand-alone ground for abuse and (ii) the relevance of the two tests (hypothetical competitor and reasonably efficient competitor) proposed by the Commission in support of a price squeeze allegation. Our comments will focus on these two points. However, we submit that this judgment raises a number of new questions.
In broad terms, Deutsche Telekom shows that the EC courts do not share a similar aversion to parallel application of competition law and regulation in the area of telecommunications. In doing so, the CFI has greatly increased the burden on regulated firms and, although perhaps unintended, may also have reduced the overall effectiveness of regulation.
Standards Development Organizations and Antitrust
Despite its rewards, the specter of patent holdup looms as an ever-present threat.
This paper examines what the associated antitrust implications are, and what lessons antitrust regulators and standards bodies might draw.
In the ongoing debate over intellectual property (IP) within standard setting, the issue of patent holdup looms large.
Collaboratively set standards are an important part of the global economy. The U.S. Department of Justice believes collaboratively set standards are generally pro-competitive, and increasing the efficiency of standard-setting efforts is important for business and consumers alike.
Ensuring the interoperability of products can be critical to the success of many industries, in particular to encourage the rapid uptake of new technologies.
Resale Price Maintenance: A U.S.-India Comparison
This paper describes the circumstances precipitating the ruling that overturned a 96-year-old principal laid down by the Supreme Court of the United States, which had made the setting of minimum resale prices unlawful per se, and examines the position with respect to RPM in Indian jurisprudence.