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Your Weekly Digest | Issue 230

Valur Thrainsson
5 min read

Good morning CompetitionFeed readers!

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

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Vestager vs. Cook: New Apple charges reignite old standoff | POLITICO
Apple’s CEO called the EU’s €13B tax case ‘political crap.’ Now Europe’s competition czar is going after the App Store.
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App developers need fair and reasonable terms when dealing with app stores and better processes for the approval of apps to help address the consequences of Google and Apple’s power in the app market, the ACCC has found in a report released today. Read more.
The ACCC has granted interim authorisation for Country Press Australia (CPA) members to collectively negotiate with Facebook and Google over payments to publishers for their news content that appears on the platforms.   CPA is an industry body that represents the interests of independent regional and local newspapers throughout Australia. CPA currently represents 81 members and 160 regional newspapers, which provide local news to regional communities in print and online. Read more.
We have fined construction firms £67 million across 5 competition law cases in recent years. This covers a range of construction products and services, including concrete drainage, groundworks, office fit out services, galvanised steel tanks and roofing materials. Read more.
The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal has upheld a June 2020 decision by the Danish Competition Council stating that FK Distribution abused its dominant position on the market for distribution of unaddressed mail (print circulars) in Denmark by tying its sale of distribution of print circulars in Denmark with its sale of viewing of circulars on its digital platform in Denmark. Read more.
On 19 April 2021, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) approved the merger between Altia Oyj and Arc... Read more.
Casey’s General Stores, Inc., Buck’s Intermediate Holdings, LLC, and Steven Buchanan, have agreed to divest retail fuel assets in local gasoline and diesel fuel markets across two states to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that Casey’s proposed acquisition would violate federal antitrust law. Read more.
Book review of Antitrust: Taking on Monopoly Power from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age by Amy Klobuchar | The Washington Post
‘When people ask me as a Senator what monopolies and antitrust policy have to do with their lives, the answer,” writes Sen. Amy Klobuchar in her new book, “Antitrust: Taking on Monopoly Power From the Gilded Age to the Digital Age,” is simple. “Everything.”
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Funding for Canada’s Competition Bureau is set to increase by more than one third, the government announced in the federal budget for 2021-2022. The budget proposes to increase the Bureau’s budget by $96 million over five years, beginning this year, and thereafter, by $27.5 million annually. This increase is intended to pay for increased capacity and... Read more.
Stigler’s “The Theory of Economic Regulation” is not just the founding paper of economics of regulation, but also of political economy. Read more.
Luc Peeperkorn
The world has many problems, most prominently the climate crisis, but also, for instance, poverty, concerns about privacy in the digital world, the deplorable treatment of animals in factory farming and, at least in some parts of the world, a trend of increasing income inequality and social division. There is also widespread dissatisfaction with the speed at which governments and inter-governmental organisations adopt and implement regulation to address these problems. Read more.
Frederic Jenny
Competition authorities are under severe political pressure to intervene quickly against the digital behemoth for a variety of reasons. Various expert reports have suggested that traditional antitrust or competition law enforcement and merger control are inadequate or insufficient to deal with competition issues in the digital sector. In this paper we review a number of issues for which further economic thinking is required before competition authorities can make informed and relevant decisions about competition on digital markets. Read more.
Chiara Fumagalli and Massimo Motta
This paper shows that vertical foreclosure can have a dynamic rationale. By refusing to supply an efficient downstream rival, a vertically integrated incumbent sacrifices current profits but can exclude the rival by depriving it of the critical profits it needs to be successful. In turn, monopolizing the downstream market may prevent the incumbent from losing most of its future profits because it allows the incumbent to extract more rents from an efficient upstream rival if future upstream entry cannot be discouraged, and it also deters future upstream entry by weakening competition for the input and reducing the postentry profits of the prospective upstream competitor. Read more.
Nicolas Petit, David Teece
This paper gives a fresh account of competition in the digital economy. Our understanding is that usual static monopoly narratives paint with too broad a brush. We suggest that some leading firms in the digital economy have strong dynamic capabilities, and they are not durable monopolists. A few strategic errors by management and they are deeply impaired. We derive the theoretical implications of this, and outline what’s required to advance a deeper understanding of the digital economy.
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