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Your Weekly Digest | Issue 1/2022

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.

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Good morning and Happy New Year.!

I hope it is treating you well so far.

Last 3 weeks we sifted through 15.000+ 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

PS
This time I decided to send to you more than 20 articles since you got 3 weeks off. I recommend that you get a large cup of coffee before you start reading the newsletter.

PPS
As always I welcome suggestions from readers like you about how this service can be improved, If you have suggestions please drop me an e-mail: valur@competitionfeed.com
Six months with Lina Khan's FTC | Axios
Entering the role, the 32-year-old, targeted what she sees as monopolistic behavior.
Read More
The White House on Monday announced it would allocate $1 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan to independent meat and poultry producers as part of an effort to boost competition in the meat-processing industry and lower prices for consumers. Read more.
Andrea Coscelli may be replaced by a more radical chief executive at the Competition and Markets Authority. Read more.
Britain’s competition regulator had ordered Facebook to divest all of its assets from Giphy. Read more.
Germany’s antitrust watchdog has paved the way for extra scrutiny of Google by designating it a company of “paramount significance.” Read more.
Antitrust prosecutors had aimed to wrap up their probes of the two tech giants by Dec. 31. But now a decision on whether to sue could come in March or later. Read more.
India’s antitrust watchdog has ordered an investigation into Google following complaints from news publishers who allege that the search giant is “abusing” its dominance in news aggregation to impose unfair conditions on the outlets. The Competition Commission of India said Friday that Google domin… Read more.
Small businesses that rely on the tech giants are signing petitions and joining Zoom calls with lawmakers to warn against legislation aimed at promoting competition. Read more.
Google previously requested the DOJ review whether Kanter should be recused from cases and investigations involving its business based on his past work. Read more.
Speaking at a White House event focused on competition in agriculture, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack expressed their shared commitment to effectively enforcing federal competition laws that protect farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers and growers from unfair and anticompetitive practices, including the antitrust laws and the Packers and Stockyards Act. The Department of Justice and Department of Agriculture (USDA) are already working together to support their respective enforcement efforts under these laws. As one step in that continuing process, today they released the following statement of principles and commitments... Read more.
Leadership does make a difference as Wall Street aims for lots of small transactions instead of a few mega-mergers. Read more.
As a new year dawns, the Biden administration remains fixated on illogical, counterproductive “big is bad” nostrums. Noted economist and former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers correctly stressed recently that using antitrust to fight inflation represents “science denial,” tweeting that: In his extended Twitter thread, Summers notes that labor shortages are the primary cause of... Read more.
Even as delivery services work to ship all of those last-minute Christmas presents that consumers bought this season from digital platforms and other e-commerce sites, the U.S. House and Senate are contemplating Grinch-like legislation that looks to stop or limit how Big Tech companies can “self-preference” or “discriminate” on their platforms. A platform “self-preferences” when... Read more.
The TechCrunch Global Affairs Project examines the increasingly intertwined relationship between the tech sector and global politics. Read more.
Many thanks to our loyal readers for following us throughout the year. We had a great run in 2021 with a vast increase in our audience. Many thanks also to the legislators, competition officials an… Read more.
The year of 2021 was very dynamic for China’s competition law. It was marked by the adoption of the new competition legislation, accelerating antitrust enforcement in the digital economy, breaking new records in terms of fines and merger prohibitions, re-organization of the competition authority, and promotion of stronger antitrust compliance programs.   Anti-monopoly legislation and... Read more.
Washington has spent decades playing from the same rulebook in the game of keeping dominant businesses from snuffing out the competition. But a new breed of antitrust enforcers say those rules are rigged against consumers — and in favor of Big Tech. They say it’s time to change the game. Read more.
In early December 2021, Advocate General Rantos delivered his Opinion in a request for a preliminary ruling referred by an Italian court (Case C-377/20). Although AG Rantos’ Opinion is not yet available in English, this will be a case to watch. Indeed, AG Rantos’ Opinion has already generated interest not only because the underlying conduct... Read more.
Recently, I was researching 2021 antitrust developments to update my Antitrust in Distribution and Franchising book and draft a long article for another publication. That research confirmed that new government antitrust enforcers and their actions gathered the most attention last year — but this blog covered those issues already, such as here and here and here. This post discusses the private antitrust litigation developments affecting distribution that I uncovered but that might have flown under your radar. Read more.
John Kwoka, Tommaso Valletti
Many features of antitrust policy continue to reflect strongly held priors rather than good economics and evidence. For a recent example of this, one need look no further than the question of whether policy should view breaking up consummated mergers and dominant firms as a legitimate tool. We are routinely told that corporate breakups are impossible, or too costly and difficult, or counterproductive, and certainly unwise for competition agencies even to consider. Read more.
David Tayar, Jalil El Khanchoufi
This article reviews the FCA decision regarding Google’s failure to comply with the injunctions in light of the implementation of the European Union (‘EU’) directive on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market of 17 April 20192 (the ‘Neighbouring Rights Directive’) and the press sector. Read more.
Lauren Chenarides, Miguel Ignacio Gomez,
Timothy J. Richards
and Koichi Yonezawa
We find that hard-discounter entry had the expected effect of reducing margins from similar stores, but did not affect markups earned by stores in the same market that are likely to appeal to a different market segment. In general, hard-discounter entry reduced markups for incumbent retailers by 7:3% relative to markups in non-entry markets. These results indicate that the net effect of hard-discounter entry reduces the overall level of store profitability, regardless of higher sales realized by incumbent retailers.Read more.
José Azar, Yue Qiu and Aaron Sojourner
Using a synthetic control method, we find that markets that were more affected by the acquisition experienced post-acquisition decreases in annual wages per employee and employment-to-population ratio relative to the counterfactual of no acquisition. The estimated treatment effects of the acquisition were stronger in markets with higher unemployment rates, lower personal income per capita, lower population density, and stricter enforcement of noncompete clauses. Read more.
Jeremy Majerovitz and Anthony Yu
On average, mergers lead to a short-run price effect at the target of 1% and declines in total revenue of 7%. These average effects hide substantial heterogeneity across different groups of mergers. Our results highlight the importance of effects not captured in the canonical model, such as effects on consumer surplus through changes in product availability, and through inefficient firms' capital being repurposed by more productive acquirers. Read more.
Last year, LSE Law School launched the first edition of two Short Courses, one on Advanced EU Competition Law and one on State Aid and Subsidies Regulation. These courses are part of the activities… Read more.
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Kind regards, Valur Þráinsson, Founder of CompetitionFeed.com. Email: valur@competitionfeed.com
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