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Here below you find the most read articles on CompetitionFeed over the last week.
Uber once had grounds to hope European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager would come to its rescue in Europe. Those hopes have largely vanished. At one point, Uber and Vestager — Europe’s top competition enforcer — appeared to be a great if audacious match: a new entrant disrupting a taxi sector riddled by cartels, state aid and bullying tactics; and a ballsy commissioner with sweeping powers hunting for a landmark case to define the second half of her term. Read More.
EU antitrust regulators aim to slap a hefty fine on Alphabet (GOOGL.O) unit Google over its shopping service before the summer break in August, two people familiar with the matter said, setting the stage for two other cases involving the U.S. company. The European Commission's decision will come after a seven-year investigation into the world's most popular internet search engine triggered by scores of complaints from both U.S. and European rivals. Read More.
FTC Requests Public Comment on Application from LafargeHolcim Ltd. to Amend Several Agreements that Were Part of 2015 Divestiture Ordered by the Agency
The Federal Trade Commission is currently accepting public comments on an application by LafargeHolcim Ltd. to amend the terms of several agreements that were part of a 2015 FTC order settling charges that the $25 billion merger of Holcim and Lafarge would likely harm competition in the United States. Under the order, the Commission required the parties to divest cement plants, quarries, terminals and other assets in 12 states and several locations in Canada. Read More.
In the last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two important rulings limiting patent rights. The decisions, which were both unanimous, significantly scaled back the ability of patent holders to slow innovation by competitors, tipping scales that many legal scholars believe have become badly imbalanced. Taken together, the two cases will improve the innovation environment for companies in fast-changing industries. Consumers will get easier access to new products and fewer limits on those they already own. Read More.
The European Commission increasingly issues large document requests in complex merger cases. The number of requested documents has increased significantly in recent years, from a few hundred to several hundred thousand, in particular in Phase I or Phase II cases that raise substantial issues. If the document request is issued during the formal proceedings, the documents have to be submitted within a few weeks or, in some cases, even within a few days. Read More.
In a Cournot model with differentiated products, we demonstrate that merger efficiencies in the form of lower marginal costs for the merging firms (the insiders) lead to higher post- merger prices under certain conditions. Specifically, when the degree of substitutability is low between the products offered by the two insiders but high between those by an insider and an outsider, increased merger efficiencies may exert upward rather than downward pressure on the prices of the merging firms. Our results suggest that in cases where firms engage in quantity competition, antitrust authorities should not presume that merger efficiencies will necessarily mitigate the anticompetitive effects of the merger. Prices can go up because of large efficiencies. Read More.
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