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Your Weekly Digest | Issue 251

Valur Thrainsson
7 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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US files antitrust suit to stop major book publisher merger | ABC News
The Justice Department is suing to block a $2.2 billion book publishing deal that would have reshaped the industry.
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Why Facebook Is More Worried About Europe Than the U.S. | POLITICO
Whistleblower Frances Haugen’s revelations aren’t sparking a European move to regulate the social media giant — they’re sealing it. 
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A former upstart Instagram rival is suing Meta, formerly known as Facebook, over allegations that the company violated antitrust laws by cloning a competing product and ultimately killing its business. The app, Phhhoto, launched in 2014, inviting users to create and share short GIF-like videos. If … Read more.
Apple antitrust fine was politically motivated, claims company | 9to5Mac
A $1.3B Apple antitrust fine levied by the French petition regulator was politically motivated, claims a lawyer for the Cupertino company ...
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JD Sports furious after being forced to sell Footasylum | BBC News
The sportswear retailer's chairman said the UK competition watchdog's ruling was "beyond logic".
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The U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today to block Penguin Random House’s proposed acquisition of its close competitor, Simon & Schuster. As alleged in the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, this acquisition would enable Penguin Random House, which is already the largest book publisher in the world, to exert outsized influence over which books are published in the United States and how much authors are paid for their work. Read more.
Currently many users are concerned about how safe their personal data are in messenger and video services. Should legislators and authorities ensure the possibility for users to easily communicate with each other while using the services of different providers? Read more.
A speech delivered at The Meaning of Competition: Assertive Antitrust Enforcement and the Digital Economy conference, organised by the IEA and ITIF... Read more.
The Bundeskartellamt has today published guidelines on the conformity of cooperatives with competition law. Read more.
‘The Every is about an all-powerful monopoly that seeks to eliminate competition’: why Dave Eggers won’t sell his new hardback on US Amazon | Dave Eggers | The Guardian

The author on returning to the dystopian world of big tech in his sequel to The Circle, and how he’s taking a stand against Bezos’s empire

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FTC announces that its merger enforcement orders will once again require prior approval before the subject firm can make a future acquisition affecting... Read more.
The Norwegian Competition Authority has issued a draft paper on abusive (price) discrimination, outlining how the agency plans to approach the matter, which should be most welcome. Essentially, the legal position is at best unclear, creating room for misapplications. The otherwise famous Post Danmark I case, e.g., originated in a misguided national attempt to apply... Read more.
The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) announced a few days ago that it will launch a market study into how platforms deal with the rules laid down in the Platform-to-Business (P2B)... Read more.
The European Union’s Big Policy Bet Against the Tech Giants | ProMarket
If EU policymakers are truly concerned about restoring competitiveness to digital markets, they need to adjust their expectations when it comes to data access as a silver bullet to promote competition. At a roundtable in Brussels in May, NYU law Professor Harry First described the European Union’s proposed Digital Markets Act (DMA)—an ambitious regulatory proposal […]
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There has been a rapid proliferation of proposals in recent years to closely regulate competition among large digital platforms. The European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA, which will become effective in 2023) imposes a variety of data-use, interoperability, and non-self-preferencing obligations on digital “gatekeeper” firms. A host of other regulatory schemes are being considered in […] Read more.
  • A private exchange of prices among competitors in a market can result in higher prices for consumers.
  • Conditions relevant to determining when such an information exchange is anticompetitive are identified.
This article reviews an abuse of dominance decision against the main outsourced ticketing firm in South Africa. The decision of the Competition Tribunal in January 2019 was upheld by the Competition Appeal Court in October 2019. The case clearly illustrates an economics approach to evaluating exclusionary conduct. As this article sets out, the market and contractual environment in which Computicket operated corresponded closely to the assumptions of the economic theory of anti-competitive exclusive dealing. These conditions, taken together, imply that Computicket’s exclusive contracts are likely to have led to significant anti-competitive effects in the relevant market. Read more. 
Economists in the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Economics support the Commission’s dual missions of protecting consumers and maintaining competition by performing economic analyses. This article provides two examples of such work product: The first is a description of an analytical framework that FTC consumer protection economists use to assess multi-level marketing organizations. The second is a description of economic analysis that was undertaken to assess the effect of a joint venture between two coal companies that ultimately was challenged by the Commission. Read more.
  • We analyze how an incumbent seller impacts entry of a competitor through the contract offered to buyers.
  • When buyers do not have all the bargaining power vis-à-vis the com petitor, the incumbent cannot fully capture the entry rent and forecloses inefficiently the entrant.
  • When sellers differ in the surpluses they provide the buyers with, asym- metric information on the buyers’ preferences leads the incumbent to induce a socially excessive level of entry as a way to screen the various types of buyers.
  • The compounding effect of these two forces may lead to either excessive entry or foreclosure, and possibly to bunching.
Filippo Lancieri, Caio Mario S Pereira Neto
Regulatory interventions aimed at promoting competition in digital markets face a challenge: How to design remedies that actually improve welfare? This article helps provide an answer to this question. First, it maps out the frontier of remedy design: Part II.A summarizes antitrust and regulatory remedies imposed on digital companies over the past decades, while Part II.B reviews nineteen reports on competition in digital markets to identify proposals to advance antitrust or regulatory interventions. Read more. 
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Kind regards, Valur Þráinsson, Founder of CompetitionFeed.com. Email: valur@competitionfeed.com
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