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Weekly Digest | Issue 20

Valur Thrainsson
3 min read

Good morning,

We hope you are enjoying CompetitionFeed.

Here below you find the most read articles on over the last week.


REUTERS

EU's Vestager says Essilor-Luxottica merger requires thorough vetting

The proposed merger of Italian spectacles maker Luxottica (LUX.MI) with French lens manufacturer Essilor (ESSI.PA) will require thorough vetting by European antitrust authorities, the head of the bloc’s competition watchdog said on Saturday. Read More.

CMA

CMA makes switching easier for 700,000 UK energy customers

New CMA measures will help 700,000 restricted meter customers, including around 400,000 in Scotland, to switch without changing their meter. Read More.

New York Times

Google’s Disturbing Influence Over Think Tanks

The first thing you see when you walk into the offices of the New America Foundation in Washington is the Eric Schmidt Ideas Lab, a space named after the executive chairman of Google’s parent company. Google, Mr. Schmidt and his family’s foundation are the principal funders of that think tank.On Wednesday, New America’s president, Anne-Marie Slaughter, issued a statement saying that Barry Lynn, a pre-eminent scholar there, had been fired for “his repeated refusal to adhere to New America’s standards of openness and institutional collegiality.” Read More.

Chillin'Competition

Impulse Ice Cream: while we wait for Intel, the CMA shows the way

The CMA found the ideal timing for the publication of its decision in the Impulse Ice Cream case: it came out when ice cream consumption peaks (mid-August) and right before the Intel judgment (when, incidentally and among other things, ice cream consumption starts to decline and coffee consumption starts to go up). Read More.

DIW Berlin Discussion Paper No. 1674

The Impact of Competition Policy Enforcement on the Functioning of EU Energy Markets

Authors: Tomaso Duso, Jo Seldeslachts and Florian Szücs.
We investigate the impact of competition policy enforcement on the functioning of European energy markets, and how sectoral regulation influences these outcomes. For this purpose, we compile a new dataset on the European Commission’s (EC) and EU member states’ competition policy decisions, and combine it with firm- and sector-level data. We find that EC merger policy has a positive and robust impact on (i) the level of competition; (ii) investment; and (iii) productivity. This impact, however, only shows up in low-regulated sectors. Other competition policy decisions – EC state aid and anti-trust interventions; as well as all individual Member State policy variables – do not have a uniform effect on energy markets’ functioning. Our findings are consistent with the idea that the EC’s merger policy actions have been used to overcome significant obstacles to a well-functioning EU energy sector and may well have shaped the overall development of gas and electricity markets in Europe. Read More.



Competition Policy International

ALGORITHMS AND COMPETITION: FRIENDS OR FOES?

Authors: ANTONIO CAPOBIANCO & PEDRO GONZAGA.
The lively debate that is growing around this topic, while initially kept more at an academic level, is now reaching antitrust practitioners, competition authorities, governments and international fora such as the OECD, which hosted in June 2017 a Roundtable on Algorithms and Collusion. What’s the verdict? Well, the jury is still out and while some commentators remain skeptical about the risks of algorithms, possibly concerned with the burden that a stronger antitrust enforcement could pose on businesses, others claim that this is a sensational discussion not to be taken more seriously than stories about machines taking control over humans. So which of these visions is true? Are competition policy debates turning into arenas to discuss science fiction stories that serve only to stimulate our intellect? Or do we increasingly live in a world where some market players, using complex computer codes, can exploit and harm those who do not dominate technology? Read More.


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Best wishes, CompetitionFeed Team
E-mail: valur@competitionfeed.com

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