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Your Weekly Digest | 208

Valur Thrainsson
4 min read

Good morning,

Here below, you find the most recent and relevant competition and anti-trust news, blogs and journal publications over the last week.

Enjoy :)

Amazon faces new antitrust charges in Europe | Vox
The EU’s competition commission says the tech giant uses non-public data from its own merchants to compete against them unfairly.

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The Federal Trade Commission has filed an administrative complaint, and authorized a suit in federal court, to block the proposed $350 million acquisition by Memphis-based Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare of two Memphis-area hospitals, known as Saint Francis, owned by Dallas-based healthcare system Tenet Healthcare Corporation. Read more.
Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “As a communication channel messenger services have become an integral part of consumers’ everyday lives. However, it is questionable whether and to what extent these services protect personal data. We would like to clarify this issue and provide information on possible violations of consumer rights. Furthermore, in most cases it is not possible for users to communicate with each other by using different messenger services. We will therefore also examine whether and to what extent improved interoperability could play a role in, for example, the consumers’ choice of suppliers which offer better data protection.” Read more.
The European Commission has published a Commission Staff Working Document summarising the results of an evaluation of the State aid rules adopted as part of the State Aid Modernisation package. The evaluation concludes that, overall, the State aid control system and rules are fit for purpose. However, individual rules will need some adaptation, also in the light of the recent European Green Deal and the EU's Industrial and Digital Strategies. Read more.
Telstra’s plan to split into three entities is the most radical shake-up of Australia’s largest telecommunications company since the Howard government began privatising it in 1997. Read more.
Because we tend to be absorbed by the latest news, we may forget that there are several pending cases of interest before the Court of Justice. One of these is Servizio Elettrico Nazionale... Read more.
Liliane Karlinger, Dimitrios Magos, Pierre Régibeau & Hans Zenger
The Directorate General for Competition at the European Commission enforces competition law in the areas of antitrust, merger control, and State aid. After providing a general presentation of the role of the Chief Competition Economist’s team, this article surveys some of the main developments at the Directorate General for Competition over 2019/2020. In particular, the article reviews the economic analysis in the Qualcomm predation case, recent developments in the assessment of vertical mergers, as well as the new “Temporary Framework” that has been developed in the wake of the COVID pandemic. Read more.
Dennis W. Carlton & Mark A. Israel
We assess how the 2010 Merger Guidelines have been applied by agencies and courts. We conclude that: Increased reliance on direct evidence of market power has improved the analysis of mergers, but courts still sometimes overemphasize market definition. Market concentration thresholds remain a reflection of agency practice rather than economic research. The Upward Price Pressure concept yields useful intuition, but UPP can be overused. The benefits that could arise from the renewed focus on coordinated effects are squandered by the lack of a rigorous economic framework recognizing the connection to unilateral effects. The lack of merger retrospectives remains a problem. Increased reliance on direct evidence of market power has improved the analysis of mergers, but courts still sometimes overemphasize market definition. Market concentration thresholds remain a reflection of agency practice rather than economic research. Read more.
Pascale Déchamps, Maurice de Valois Turk
On 28 May 2020, the General Court (the ‘Court’) published its judgment in case T-399/16 Hutchison versus Commission (the ‘judgment’)1. The case relates to Hutchison’s appeal of the Commission’s 2016 decision (the ‘contested decision’) prohibiting the proposed merger of Hutchison’s UK (mobile) activities and O2 UK (the ‘H3G/O2 Merger’). Read more.
Jessica Dutra, Tarun Sabarwal
We investigate the accuracy of UPP as a tool in antitrust analysis when there are cost efficiencies from a horizontal merger. We include model-based, merger-specific cost efficiencies in a tractable manner and extend the standard UPP formulation to account for these efficiencies. Read More.
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Kind regards, Valur Þráinsson, Founder of CompetitionFeed.com. Email: valur@competitionfeed.com
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