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Your Weekly Digest | 5/2022

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.

App store bill sails out of Senate Judiciary Committee - Axios
A bill that would upend how Apple and Google run their mobile app stores easily made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Senators on the committee voted to pass the Open App Markets Act 20-2, with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) voting no.
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Meta – formerly known as Facebook – should be broken up, AOC said in an interview with Yahoo Finance published Tuesday. Read more.
Vestager’s big Gazprom case upheld in EU court | POLITICO
The EU General Court sided with EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager in her big antitrust case into Gazprom, upholding her main 2018 decision to accept commitments from the Russian energy giant and not levy a fine. Following a challenge of that decision by Polish state-owned energy company PGNiG, the judges ruled that the European Commission's decision did not contain any of the "procedural or substantive errors claimed by the applicant." The judgment gives Vestager more leeway as she faces renewed pressure to act on Gazprom’s supply practices following an energy price hike that started last year.
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Europe needs telecoms M&A to compete globally, Telenor and Vodafone say | Reuters

Britain's Vodafone and Norway's Telenor urged policymakers on Wednesday to allow European mobile operators to merge and spend more on networks to keep pace with peers in the United States and Asia.

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Microsoft’s $70 billion bid for Activision may be reviewed by the FTC in what will become its first test to show its new approach to mergers. Read more.
The General Court dismisses Scania’s action and maintains the fine of €880.52 million imposed by the Commission for Scania’s participation in a cartel between truck manufacturers The General Court provides clarification on, first, the legality of a ‘hybrid’ procedure combining the settlement procedure and the standard administrative procedure in cartel matters and, second, the concept of a ‘single and continuous infringement’ Read more.
The CMA has fined firms over £35 million for an illegal arrangement in the supply of important NHS prescription anti-nausea tablets. Read more.
Due to lack of appointments of Commissioners, COFECE suspends the term to issue a resolution on barriers to competition in the card payment system. The Federal Economic Competition Law establishes that the powers to resolve this type of procedure may only be exercised by the Plenary with the affirmative vote of at least five Commissioners. Today the Plenary operates with only four of the seven members established by the Constitution. Read more.
Tina Søreide has been appointed by the Norwegian Government as the new Director General of the Competition Authority. Søreide is currently a professor at the Department of Accounting, Auditing and Law at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). Read More.
The competition watchdog is struggling to attract lawyers to investigate mergers and digital markets due to significant increases in private sector salaries, its chief executive has told MPs. Andrea Coscelli said the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is ‘constantly in a way fighting for talent’, with civil service pay unable to keep up as significant numbers of mergers and acquisitions fuel a salary war. Read more.
This post is the second in a planned series. The first installment can be found here. In just over a century since its dawn, liberalism had reshaped much of the world along the lines of individualism, free markets, private property, contract, trade, and competition. A modest laissez-faire political philosophy that had begun to germinate in... Read more.
Bad merger policy is why wealth and power is so consolidated in America. But last month, two government enforcers started to turn the table on the monopolies who run our economy. Read more.
In our super-connected age, we are inundated with information. It can be difficult to select what is really relevant to one’s business. The purpose of this Review is to provide legal counsel and their teams easy reference guidance on essential EU competition law developments covering key areas of law and policy, to help keep you... Read more.
Amelia Fletcher, Martin Peitz, Florence Thépot
Over the years, competition authorities on both sides of the Atlantic have taken note. For example, in 2018, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission held a hearing on common ownership.1 In the same year, Margaret Vestager, at that time the Competition Commissioner at the European Commission, stated that the Commission is “looking carefully” at common ownership given indications of its increase and potential for anticompetitive effects.2 In 2017, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) examined the extent of common ownership in the banking... Read more.
Romano Subiotto QC, Romi Lepetska, Katherine Nobbs
During 2019 and 2020, the European Commission (‘Commission’) concluded1 the last of three long-running Article 102 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’) proceedings against Google (Google Search (AdSense)),2 adopted infringement decisions in ABInBev3 and Qualcomm (predation),4 and adopted two commitment decisions in Broadcom5 and Romanian Gas Interconnectors.6  Google AdSense, ABInBev, Qualcomm (predation), and Broadcom will be discussed in detail further. Read more.
Brian R. Cheffins
Antitrust is high on the reform agenda at present, associated with calls to “break up big tech.” Proponents of reform have invoked history with regularity in making their case. They say reform is essential to reverse the baleful influence of the Chicago School of antitrust, which, in their telling, disastrously and abruptly ended in the 1980s a “golden” era of beneficially lively antitrust enforcement. In fact, antitrust enforcement was, at best, uneven, from the early 20th century through to the end of the 1970s. As for the antitrust “counter-revolution” of the late 20th century, this was fostered as much by fears of foreign competition and skepticism of government regulation as Chicago School theorizing. The pattern helped to ensure that the counter-revolution was largely sustained through the opening decades of the 21st century. This article, in addition to getting antitrust and history in tune by drawing attention to the foregoing points, provides insights regarding antitrust’s future direction. Read more.
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Kind regards, Valur Þráinsson, Founder of CompetitionFeed.com. Email: valur@competitionfeed.com
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