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Your Weekly Digest | Issue 237

Valur Thrainsson
4 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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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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Lina Khan will be chair of the Federal Trade Commission. Big Tech should worry. - Vox

Democrats and Republicans came together to confirm the antitrust expert to the FTC.

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Apple and Google investigated by UK competition body - BBC News

The UK competition authority says it has launched an investigation into the mobile phone market.

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The U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today to block Aon’s $30 billion proposed acquisition of Willis Towers Watson, a transaction that would bring together two of the “Big Three” global insurance brokers. As alleged in the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the merger threatens to eliminate competition, raise prices, and reduce innovation for American businesses, employers, and unions that rely on these important services. Read more.

Last Friday the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published a 93-page long notice of intention to accept commitments offered by Google in relation to its Privacy Sandbox proposals, invit… Read more.
Two more signs that antitrust is a big focus on both sides of the aisle. Read more.
The European Commission’s 254-page decision approving Google’s acquisition of Fitbit (the “Decision”) offered the Commission a so-far unique opportunity to apply the 2019 report on “Competition policy for the digital era’s” (the “Digital Era Report’s”) recommendation to assess acquisitions by “gatekeeper platforms” of much smaller companies active in complementary markets using an “ecosystem” approach.  Google/Fitbit... Read more.
Amelia Fletcher
With the growing market dominance of digital platforms like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, calls for an effective policy response have become louder. New competition regulations are on the horizon, but international cooperation is needed for them to succeed. Read more.
(by Peter Ormosi) Morrisons recently announced that all their food will be sourced from carbon neutral farms by 2030 (10 years before the 2040 net-zero commitment of the National Farmers’ Union). Read more.
We offer a comparative analysis of the trends in vertical merger policy in the U.S. and Canada. Guidelines issued by the U.S. agencies hold lessons for Canada, which has no guidelines that are dedicated specifically to vertical mergers. Canadian policy—as reflected in consent decrees and rules set in specific cases by the agency—has nonetheless developed along similar lines as in the U.S. The sharpest difference between policies in the two jurisdictions is in the consumer welfare standard of the U.S. policy versus a standard that is close to total surplus in Canada. Read more.
Giuseppe Colangelo and Oscar Borgogno
In recent years several interventions have been undertaken to encourage competition by promoting access to data and facilitating data sharing and portability. The banking sector has been usually designated as a testing ground. Indeed, data play a central role in the provision of FinTech-enabled services and, since transaction data are jealously conserved by legacy banks, the commercial viability of FinTech players is undermined by the lack of access to this essential resource. Read more.