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Your Weekly Digest | Issue 2/2022

Valur Thrainsson
5 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.

Zuckerberg and Google CEO approved deal to carve up ad market, states allege in court | POLITICO
Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg was a signer to the pact, which she described as “a big deal strategically,” an updated lawsuit against Google says.
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The FTC refiles its case against Facebook | Vox
Despite an initial setback, the regulatory agency is proceeding with its lawsuit to limit Facebook’s market power.
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Apple said on Saturday it would allow developers of dating apps in the Netherlands to offer non-Apple payment options to their users, complying with an order from the country's market regulator to do so by Jan. 15 or face fines. Read more.
The European Commission has prohibited, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering CO., Ltd (DSME) by Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings (HHIH). The merger between the two South Korean shipbuilders would have created a dominant position by the new merged company and reduced competition in the worldwide market for the construction of large liquefied gas (‘LNG') carriers (‘LLNGCs'). The parties did not formally offer remedies to address the Commission's concerns. Read more. 
The CMA has secured the disqualification of a pharmaceutical company director, in connection with his involvement in illegal anti-competitive practices. Read more.
Google has proposed measures to dispel the Bundeskartellamt’s competition concerns in the authority’s ongoing proceeding to examine the Google News Showcase online service. The Bundeskartellamt will now conduct consultations in the press publishing sector to determine whether these measures fit the purpose. Read more.

The flood of deals has forced the agencies to devote more of their already scarce resources to them. The FTC has moved some attorneys focused on policy and international affairs, for example, to help with merger review. Under law, the FTC and DOJ only have 30 days to decide whether a deal warrants a more in-depth probe, an added time pressure. Read more.
Observers of china’s rise have grown used to seeing old edifices bulldozed to make way for the new. As with bricks and mortar, so with intellectual constructs. In just 12 months President Xi Jinping has replaced a “cautious and tolerant” approach to the private sector with something much less so. Nowhere has the shift towards tougher rules and enforcement been more striking than in competition policy. Read more.
The conversation begins with the discussion about various aspects of the functioning of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) its enforcement priorities and different challenges it faces.  We then move to the question of ecosystems and the EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) proposal – including the changes introduced in the version adopted by the European Parliament in the 1st reading in December 2021. We finish with an exchange of thoughts on the theoretical development of the area of competition law, economics and policy.  Listen.
Early last month, the Italian competition authority issued a record 1.128 billion euro fine against Amazon for abuse of dominance under Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). In its order, the Agenzia Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) essentially argues that Amazon has combined its Amazon.it marketplace... Read more.
Apple’s efforts to dominate the contactless payments market and lock up the “digital key” space pose a profound threat to consumer privacy and the future of the auto industry. Why can’t you use Android Pay or PayPal to pay at the grocery store using your iPhone? The answer to this question is at once complicated... Read more.
David Spector
Many collusive agreements involve the exchange of self-reported sales data between competitors, which use them to monitor compliance with a target market share allocation. Such communication may facilitate collusion even if it is unverifiable cheap talk and the underlying information becomes publicly available with a delay. The exchange of sales information may allow firms to implement incentive-compatible market share reallocation mechanisms after unexpected swings, limiting the recourse to price wars. Such communication may allow firms to earn profits that could not be earned in any collusive, symmetric pure-strategy equilibrium without communication. Read more.
Martin Peitz and  Lily Samkharadze
Platform competition can be intense when offering non-differentiated services. However, competition is somewhat relaxed if platforms cannot set negative prices. If platforms collude they may be able to implement the outcome that maximizes industry profits. In an infinitely repeated game with perfect monitoring, this is feasible if the discount factor is sufficiently large. When this is not possible, under some condition, a collusive outcome with one-sided rent extraction along the equilibrium path can be sustained that leads to higher profits than the non-cooperative outcome. Read more.
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Kind regards, Valur Þráinsson, Founder of CompetitionFeed.com. Email: valur@competitionfeed.com
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