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Your Weekly Digest | Issue 254

Valur Thrainsson
6 min read

Welcome to CompetitionFeed, a weekly newsletter with the most recent and relevant competition and anti-trust news, blogs and journal publications. Never miss an update. If you’d like to receive issues over email, you can sign-up here.

Good morning.

During the last week, we scanned through 5.000+ articles and used automation to pick 200+ that we read through and hand-picked the most relavant pieces for you.

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

Enjoy!

Kind regards, Valur

Italy fines Amazon and Apple $230M over alleged reseller collusion | TechCrunch
Amazon and Apple have been hit with almost $230 million (€203 million) in total fines by Italy’s antitrust authority — following an investigation into reselling of Apple and (Apple-owned) Beats kit on Amazon’s Italian e-commerce marketplace. The authority says the alleged collusio…
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Microsoft targeted in antitrust complaint to EU over OneDrive | POLITICO
German software company says Microsoft ‘pushes’ its file-hosting service OneDrive in Windows.
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The CMA has secured improved commitments from Google on its proposals to remove third party cookies and other functionalities from its Chrome browser. Read more.
The Council agreed its position (‘general approach’) on the proposal for a Digital Markets Act (DMA). The proposal aims to ensure a competitive and fair digital sector with a view to promoting innovation, high-quality digital products and services, fair prices, and high quality and choice in the digital sector. Read more.
The Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today to stop United States Sugar Corporation (U.S. Sugar) from acquiring its rival, Imperial Sugar Company (Imperial Sugar). The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, alleges that the transaction would leave an overwhelming majority of refined sugar sales across the Southeast in the hands of only two producers. As a result, American businesses and consumers would pay more for refined sugar, a significant input for many foods and beverages. Read more.
The interplay among political philosophy, competition, and competition law remains, with some notable exceptions, understudied in the literature. Indeed, while examinations of the intersection between economics and competition law have taught us much, relatively little has been said about the value frameworks within which different visions of competition and competition law operate. As Ronald Coase... Read more.
Note by Nadine Watson
This note describes how the standards tools and procedures already used by competition authorities can be adapted to better quantify sustainability benefits. Survey based discrete choice experiments have become the dominant strategy in environmental economics to assess consumer willingness to pay for products that have both use and non-use values because they can overcome the inherent difficulty of measuring value when consumers are unaware of the environmental impact of their consumption and/or do not directly consume or experience the sustainable product. Read more.
The 2020 Vertical Merger Guidelines, now withdrawn by the FTC, did not represent sound merger policy, argues Steven Salop; rather, they were overly defendant-friendly and based on a procompetitive presumption not supported by empirical studies or economic theory. They should be rapidly replaced with a more enforcement-oriented alternative. Editor’s note: catch up on previous entries... Read more.
Eleonora Mateina, Anastasiya Grunova
Background Starting from 2009, the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (“BCPC”) has conducted several sector inquiries and investigations on the oil market in Bulgaria – a sector giving rise to serious allegations for cartel activities and abuse of dominance. One of the last investigations was held in 2017. The proceedings were initiated as a... Read more.
STEVE SZENTESI
Federal Court of Canada denies class action certification in DRAM output restriction conspiracy for failure to prove the existence of an agreement... Read more.
Jan Eeckhout – Do giant firms undermine competition and social welfare? YouTube
In an era of technological progress and easy communication, it might seem reasonable to assume that the world’s working people have never had it so good. But...
Watch
We discuss three important projects that economists at the Competition and Markets Authority have completed over the past year. First, our work on the Funerals Market Investigation provides an illustration of how demand-side problems can lead to a lack of competition, as well as demonstrating the CMA’s willingness to consider price control and regulatory remedies where necessary. Second, on the Sabre/Farelogix merger case, we point to how our assessment dealt with uncertainty in innovative markets, the importance of preventing incumbents from acquiring start-ups, and the risks of following formalistic market definitions, especially in multi-sided platform sectors. Third, we set out the most notable developments in our revised Mergers Assessment Guidelines—including the assessment of future competition even when subject to significant uncertainty—and the assessment of the loss of dynamic competition and its effect on innovation incentives. Read more.
Natalia Moreno Belloso
This summary condenses the General Court’s 140-page judgment into a six-page overview covering all the main parts of the decision. Part I of the summary covers the background to the dispute, which includes the Commission’s initial 2017 decision. Part II covers the pleas for annulment of this decision put forward by Google and the Court’s findings for each plea. Part III concludes. Read more.
Stephen P. King
Australia's competition laws include a general access regime for monopoly infrastructure (Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act). Recently, there have been calls to extend this law - through a new 'Part IIIB'. This paper considers the proposed amendments and finds that there is no economic case for change. Proponents of reform argue that the existing law has a gap. Our analysis shows that this is wrong and the current law can deal with both vertically integrated and separated facilities. We show that the current 'declaration criteria' identify both the relevant infrastructure services and the circumstances when regulatory action is warranted. Read more.
Pablo Ibáñez Colomo
The attitude towards competition law enforcement has changed significantly over the past two years. For a fraction of the community, the focus should be on prohibiting conduct, and this, as fast as possible. This approach is behind proposals to reduce the constraints on administrative authorities (by means, inter alia, of presumptions and the reversal of the burden of proof) and to limit (even do away with) judicial review. Read more.
Jérôme Pouyet and Thomas Trégouët
We analyze vertical integration between platforms providing operating systems to manufacturers of devices in presence of indirect network effects between buyers of devices and developers of applications. Vertical integration creates market power over non-integrated manufacturers and application developers. That market power provides the merged entity with the ability to coordinate pricing decisions across both sides of the market, which allows to better internalize network effects. Vertical integration does not systematically lead to foreclosure and can benefit all parties, even in the absence of efficiency gains. Its competitive impact depends on the strength and the structure of indirect network effects. Read more.
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Kind regards, Valur Þráinsson, Founder of CompetitionFeed.com. Email: valur@competitionfeed.com
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