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Your Weekly Digest | Issue 19/2022

Valur Thrainsson
8 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.

Your Weekly Digest | Issue 19/2022
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Good morning!

Last week we sifted through 5.000+ articles from 100+ publishers to help you stay updated!

Below are the pieces that I have handpicked and find the most recent and relevant competition and anti-trust news, blogs, and journal publications.

Enjoy

Kind regards, Valur
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Thursday wrote to Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan asking for a “wide-ranging study” of market dynamics and competition in the infant formula industry.Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Thursday wrote to Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan asking for a “wide-ranging study” of market dynamics and competition in the infant formula industry. Read more.
In his time in office, President Joe Biden has demonstrated his support for everyday Americans by backing labor unions, supporting a $15 minimum wage and implementing it for federal contractors, and calling for robust investments with his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Most recently, his 2023 budget plan offered several economic proposals that would do even more to reduce income inequality and invest in middle-out economic growth. In his time in office, President Joe Biden has demonstrated his support for everyday Americans by backing labor unions, supporting a $15 minimum wage and implementing it for federal contractors, and calling for robust investments with his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Most recently, his 2023 budget plan offered several economic proposals that would do even more to reduce income inequality and invest in middle-out economic growth.  Read more.
The parent company of dating apps Tinder, Match and OkCupid is suing Google, alleging that the company exerts too much control over payments through its Google Play app marketplace. parent company of dating apps Tinder, Match and OkCupid is suing Google, alleging that the company exerts too much control over payments through its Google Play app marketplace. Read more.
Overall, consumers and society benefit hugely from digital markets, from the vast range of products and services we’re able to use to the ways we keep in touch with friends and family, but as more of us are immersed in the digital economy, we’re starting to see competition break down. The digital landscape is dominated by a small group of tech giants, and that can lead to negative consequences for all of us, for example:Overall, consumers and society benefit hugely from digital markets, from the vast range of products and services we’re able to use to the ways we keep in touch with friends and family, but as more of us are immersed in the digital economy, we’re starting to see competition break down. The digital landscape is dominated by a small group of tech giants, and that can lead to negative consequences for all of us, for example... Read more.
The Vertical Block Exemption Regulations exempt agreements between manufacturers and distributors provided their agreements do not contain price-fixing and other hardcore restrictionThe Vertical Block Exemption Regulations exempt agreements between manufacturers and distributors provided their agreements do not contain price-fixing and other hardcore restrictions and both do not have over a 30% market share.s and both do not have over a 30% market share. Read more.
The EU is on the cusp of formally approving the Digital Markets Act — the landmark tech competition rules that could force drastic changes in the business models of Apple, Google and other big tech companies.The EU is on the cusp of formally approving the Digital Markets Act — the landmark tech competition rules that could force drastic changes in the business models of Apple, Google and other big tech companies. Read more.
If I Were You is a new Bona Law podcast that gives in-house lawyers the essential 5 bullet points they need to explain real-world antitrust and competition risks to their business teams. The podcast is a quick 10 minutes or less, easily digestible during a commute or errand, and we think it’s so understandable that it could be circulated directly to the businessf I Were You is a new Bona Law podcast that gives in-house lawyers the essential 5 bullet points they need to explain real-world antitrust and competition risks to their business teams. The podcast is a quick 10 minutes or less, easily digestible during a commute or errand, and we think it’s so understandable that it could be circulated directly to the business side if desired. side if desired. Read more.
Over the past three weeks, we have shared contributions from more than a dozen antitrust commentators—including academics, practitioners, students, and a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission—discussing the potential for the FTC to develop substantive rules using its unfair methods of competition (UMC) authority. This post offers a recap of where we have been so far in this discussion and also discusses what comes next for this symposium and our coverage of these issues. Read more.
ERIK PEINERTERIK PEINERT
A recently uncovered memo from George Stigler and Richard Posner reveals how they thought about antitrust and merger policy in advising the Reagan Administration. A few years ago when doing research in the Reagan Presidential Library, I found a 1980 memo by George Stigler and Richard Posner. It was addressed to Martin Anderson of the... Read more
Michael-James Currie and Nicola Taljaard
On 28 April 2022, the South African Competition Tribunal (“Tribunal”) handed down a decision in which it found Tsutsumani Business Enterprises (“Tsutsumani”) had contravened the excessive pricing prohibition contained in section 8(1)(a) of the Competition Act (“Act”). The conduct relates to the supply of face masks by Tsutsumani to the South African Police Services (“SAPS”) during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.On 28 April 2022, the South African Competition Tribunal (“Tribunal”) handed down a decision in which it found Tsutsumani Business Enterprises (“Tsutsumani”) had contravened the excessive pricing prohibition contained in section 8(1)(a) of the Competition Act (“Act”). The conduct relates to the supply of face masks by Tsutsumani to the South African Police Services (“SAPS”) during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more.
Justin Lindeboom
This article analyzes the meaning and role of formalism in competition law. Drawing on general legal theory and philosophy, this article conceives of formalism as decision-making constrained by rules, whereby rules exclude considerations from the decision-making process. It analyzes the degree to which per se rules and the rule of reason in U.S. antitrust law and the category of “by object” restrictions in EU competition law involve formalistic reasoning.This article analyzes the meaning and role of formalism in competition law. Drawing on general legal theory and philosophy, this article conceives of formalism as decision-making constrained by rules, whereby rules exclude considerations from the decision-making process. It analyzes the degree to which per se rules and the rule of reason in U.S. antitrust law and the category of “by object” restrictions in EU competition law involve formalistic reasoning. Read more.
  • We study the effects of the “Bill Shock” regulation of mobile phone services.
  • The regulation would eliminate consumer usage and price uncertainty.
  • Mobile network operators would decrease fixed fees, allowances, and overage prices.
  • Both mobile network operators and consumers would benefit from the regulation.
  • Total surplus would increase by $307 million per month.
Emanuela Ciapanna, Sara Formai, Andrea Linarello and Gabriele Rovigatti
In this paper, we provide an assessment of the evolution of markups in Italy in the last twenty years. To this aim, we resort to both macro and micro data and estimation techniques, namely reduced forms accounting measures (price-cost margins) and production function model-based indicators. When using aggregate data, we adopt a comparative approach and analyse markup dynamics in the four main euro area countries, whereas the micro-level analysis is focused on Italy. According to our findings i) markups have shown flat/slightly decreasing dynamics in the last decades in the major EU countries, settling on average in level at 1.1; ii) aggregate dynamics hide substantial across sector and firms heterogeneity in markups patterns; iii) the micro-level analysis for Italy indicates the within-firms component as the most relevant in explaining markups behavior; iv) no top firms-driven dynamics emerge; v) our evidence conflicts with the results obtained in De Loecker and Eeckhout (2018) because the latter suffers of two main sources of bias: a strong sample selection, and the assumption of a common technology parameter across countries. Finally, we propose an encompassing measure of market power, summarizing the several indices investigated in a principal component framework. This synthetic indicator describes the markups evolution for the Italian economy and we confirm its effectiveness based on a set of validation variables. Read more.
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Kind regards, Valur Þráinsson, Founder of CompetitionFeed.com. Email: valur@competitionfeed.com
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