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Your Weekly Digest | Issue 224

Valur Thrainsson
4 min read

Good morning,

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

Enjoy :)

Apple’s new privacy feature backed by French competition watchdog | POLITICO
The Autorité de la concurrence refused to freeze the next iOS update, but said will keep investigating the tech giant.
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Report: DOJ investigating Visa over debit card business | ABC News
Visa is under investigation by the Department of Justice’s antitrust division over whether the company pushes merchants into more expensive forms of debit card payments.
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The government’s lawyers saw a Google monopoly coming. Their bosses refused to sue. | POLITICO
FTC memos suggest Obama-era regulators passed on an opportunity to rein in Google when the company still had viable competitors.
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The European Commission's Directorate General for Competition together with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Canadian Competition Bureau, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority, the U.S. Department of Justice, and three Offices of Attorneys General launched today a Multilateral working group to analyse the effects of mergers in the pharmaceutical sector. The working group was initiated by the FTC and is in line with close cooperation between national competition authorities. Read more.
Following a public consultation, the CMA has published updated guidelines about its approach to analysing mergers. Read more.
The CMA has secured the disqualification of 2 former directors of Northern Ireland-based firm FP McCann Ltd for their parts in an illegal construction cartel. Read more.
Congress Should Not Legalize a News Media Cartel | Truth on the Market
Amazingly enough, at a time when legislative proposals for new antitrust restrictions are rapidly multiplying—see the Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act (CALERA), for example—Congress simultaneously is seriously considering granting antitrust immunity to a price-fixing cartel among members of the newsmedia. This would thereby authorize what the late Justice Antonin Scalia termed “the supreme […]
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Major amendments to competition legislation are expected to add more bite to the bark of Sweden’s antitrust watchdog. On 1 March 2021, the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) gained a number of new powers and introduced some related changes to its routines.  Specific to Sweden but with broader resonance in real terms, this is a good... Read more.
Jeffrey T Macher, John W Mayo
A growing narrative has arisen that antitrust regulators have systematically relaxed enforcement over time. This narrative has led to calls for reinvigorated enforcement and the passage of new tougher antitrust legislation. In this paper, we employ data drawn directly from the antitrust agencies to examine this claim. Data collected from 1979 to 2017 indicate that, contrary to the popular narrative, regulators have become more likely to challenge proposed mergers over time. Read more.
Jose Azar and Xavier Vives
We develop a tractable general equilibrium framework in which firms are large and have market power with respect to both products and labor, and in which a firm's decisions are affected by its ownership structure. We characterize the Cournot-Walras equilibrium of an economy where each firm maximizes a share-weighted average of shareholder utilities-rendering the equilibrium independent of price normalization. Read more.
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