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Here below you find the most read articles on CompetitionFeed over the last week.
European antitrust officials are preparing to hit Google with a potentially record fine by the end of August over some of the Silicon Valley giant’s search services, according to two people with direct knowledge of the case. Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s competition chief, is in the final stages of ruling on the case, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly. Any financial penalty is expected to be larger than the fine of 1.06 billion euros, now about $1.2 billion, then about $1.4 billion — at the time the highest ever — that Intel was forced to fork out for antitrust abuses in Europe in 2009. Read More.
In a surprise move, Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, the companies revealed Friday. The $42 a share offer is a 27% premium over the Thursday night closing price for Whole Foods stock and represents a bold action by Jeff Bezos, chairman and CEO of Amazon. He will gain a dominant role in the grocery business. Read More.
British hauliers have secured backing for a multi-billion pound legal claim against five of the world's biggest vehicle manufacturers following a massive price-fixing fine imposed last year by the European Commission. Sky News has learnt that the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has lined up funding for a potentially vast compensation claim, which could see further penalties imposed on DAF, Daimler, Iveco, MAN and Volvo Group, which manufactures both Volvo and Renault trucks. Read More.
In January, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) consulted on raising the threshold for markets where mergers might not warrant investigation. The CMA has a duty to refer mergers for an in-depth, phase 2 investigation if they could lead to a substantial lessening of competition (SLC). However, in certain circumstances it may not refer a merger, such as if it believes the relevant market is of insufficient importance. Read More.
A Comprehensive Overview (and Sound Analysis) of the Law and Economics of FRAND Litigation, Here and Abroad
Antitrust theories typically revolve around claims that SEP owners engage in monopolistic “hold-up” when they threaten injunctions or seek “excessive” royalties (or other “improperly onerous” terms) from potential licensees in patent licensing negotiations, in violation of pledges (sometimes imposed by standard-setting organizations) to license on “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory” (FRAND) terms. As Professors Joshua Wright and Douglas Ginsburg, among others, have explained, contract law, tort law, and patent law are far better placed to handle “FRAND-related” SEP disputes than antitrust law. Adding antitrust to the litigation mix generates unnecessary costs and inefficiently devalues legitimate private property rights.Read More.
Damages for Delay: The EU Held Liable for Harm Caused by ‘Unjustified Inactivity’ in General Court Proceedings
In a series of recent judgements the General Court ruled on the non-contractual liability of the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’). In three of those cases the General Court held the CJEU liable for damages caused by delayed proceedings and awarded the applicants compensation for material and immaterial damages. While the non-contractual liability of the institutions of the European Union is a well-established principle of EU law, this was the first time this principle was applied to the CJEU itself.Read More.
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