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Here below you find the most read articles on CompetitionFeed over the last week.
Microsoft — which already collected more EU antitrust fines than any other company in history — could be up for another round of competition scrutiny. Security-software firm Kaspersky Lab said Monday it filed a complaint with EU and German regulators about the U.S.-based tech giant. The complaint centers on the rollout of the market-leading Windows 10, Microsoft’s latest operating system for personal computers and other devices, which launched in 2015. Read More.
A Seoul court on Thursday sentenced a former South Korean health minister to two and a half years jail for his role in a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment and arrest of former president Park Geun-hye, Yonhap reported. The ruling is one of the first from several ongoing trials that emerged from the scandal, including that of Park herself and Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee. Read More.
The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation into the distribution agreements and practices of clothing manufacturer and retailer Guess. The Commission will examine whether Guess illegally restricts retailers from selling cross-border to consumers within the EU Single Market. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said: "The Commission has information indicating that Guess, in its distribution agreements, may ban cross-border sales to consumers. One of the key benefits of the EU's Single Market is that consumers can shop around for a better deal. We are going to investigate Guess' practices further to ensure that it's playing by the rules and not preventing consumers from buying products across borders." Guess designs, distributes and licenses clothing and accessories. Guess' apparel is marketed under numerous trademarks, including "GUESS?" and "MARCIANO". Read More.
New German threshold for high value but no/low German sales transactions to enter into force: Imminent changes to merger control will widen jurisdiction to catch (i) high value transactions worth over EUR 400 million with (ii) target substantial German activity even where (iii) the deal would previously not have been notifiable because the target’s revenues were less than EUR 5 million. No transitional provisions. The new rule catches deals signed, but not yet closed, prior to the law’s adoption. It is important to check whether the new merger control rules may apply to current deals. What is “substantial activity”: potentially notifiable deals will require close scrutiny of how to assess whether the targets are “significantly active” in Germany. This note provides guidance as to how deals should be assessed. Read More.
This blog has always been a bit Court-centric, in the sense that we typically pay more attention to what comes from Luxembourg rather than to what comes from Brussels. To our mind that is logical, but it also is certainly not the general rule. Our forthcoming workshop on EU Competition litigation (see here) is a testimony to that approach. And this post aims at giving you an example of the sort of issues that we would like to discuss at the workshop. Read More.
In some recent merger cases the European Commission has relied on quantitative economic techniques in the competitive assessment of horizontal mergers. These techniques have ranged from the use of merger simulation models (for both differentiated and homogenous goods), to the deployment of direct estimation methods to study the effects of relevant events in the past. This article describes the appropriate use of these quantitative techniques, and it explains the rationale for the reliance on these methods. It also explains why the evidence from economic modelling is complementary to more traditional qualitative evidence on the expected impact of horizontal mergers. Read More.
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