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Your weekly Digest | Issue 253

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.

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!

Kind regards, Valur

China fines tech giants over anti-monopoly violations | ABC News
China's market regulator has fined tech giants including Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings for failing to report corporate acquisitions...
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European antitrust legislation plans confirmed to include Apple | 9to5Mac
An agreement has finally been reached on the scope of planned European antitrust legislation. It was previously unclear whether or not Apple...
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U.S. FTC says court should allow antitrust lawsuit against Facebook to proceed | Reuters

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday that a federal court should allow an antitrust lawsuit it filed against Facebook to go forward as the company has "interfered with the competitive process by targeting nascent threats through exclusionary conduct."

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WASHINGTON—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is challenging Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lina Khan, contending in a series of letters that she is overstepping the agency’s legal authority. In three letters to the FTC dated Friday, the Chamber cited potential breaches of administrative procedure that it said could be open to legal challenge. It also was set to file more than 30 requests with the FTC under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking documents that could include Ms. Khan’s personal communications and those of her staff. Read more. 
The CMA is investigating suspected breaches of competition law relating to long-term exclusivity in the supply of electric vehicle chargepoints on or near motorways under Chapter I and II CA98. Read more.
 Alkaloids of Australia Pty Ltd, a company which produces a pharmaceutical ingredient used in anti-spasmodic medication, has today pleaded guilty to criminal cartel conduct in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court. Alkaloids of Australia pleaded guilty to three charges and admitted a further seven offences involving price fixing, bid rigging and market allocation cartel arrangements with other overseas pharmaceutical ingredient suppliers. This comes only weeks after its former export manager, Christopher Kenneth Joyce, pleaded guilty to criminal cartel charges relating to the same conduct. Read more.
The long-awaited Google Shopping judgment is out (see the press release here and the full decision here). The General Court has dismissed Google’s action almost in its entirety, upholding the fine of € 2.42 billion that the EU Commission issued in 2017 on the company for abusing its dominance as a search engine by favouring... Read more.
As readers of this blog will know, on Tuesday 10 November 2021 the General Court (“GC”) delivered its judgment in case T-612/17, Google and Alphabet v Commission, largely upholding the Commission’s… Read more.
It was inevitable that the Google Shopping judgment would require the General Court to engage with an illustrious principle of the case law: Article 102 TFEU is only concerned with the exclusion of… Read more.
The European Commission and its supporters were quick to claim victory following last week’s long-awaited General Court of the European Union ruling in the Google Shopping case. It’s hard to fault them. The judgment is ostensibly an unmitigated win for the Commission, with the court upholding nearly every aspect of its decision.  However, the broader... Read more.
The Directorate General for Competition at the European Commission enforces competition law in the areas of antitrust, merger control, and State aid. After providing a general presentation of the role of the Chief Competition Economist’s team, this article surveys some of the main developments at the Directorate General for Competition over 2020/2021. In particular, the article discusses the Commission proposal on the Digital Markets Act, the developments on the State aid response related to the COVID pandemic as well as the Danfoss/Eaton merger. Read more.
During the past year, FCC economists assisted in the development of initiatives that were aimed at closing the connectivity gap which proved especially critical in light of the COVID-19 pandemic; contributed to the Commission’s extensive responses to COVID-19; were involved in various spectrum auctions; evaluated competition in the communications marketplace in the 2020 Communications Marketplace Report; and published a series of working papers. Read more. 
Anna Tzanaki
Minority shareholdings have been on the regulatory agenda of competition authorities for some time. Recent empirical studies, however, draw attention to a new, thought-provoking theory of harm: common ownership by institutional investors holding small, parallel equity positions in several competing firms within concentrated industries. While critical voices abound, EU and U.S. antitrust agencies closely follow these developments indicating an appetite to act. This article connects the common ownership debate to merger control and explores: i) the aims and scope of legal control as regards partial acquisitions in different jurisdictions; ii) the nature of potential competition effects arising from passive minority shareholding; and iii) the plausibility of common owners’ anticompetitive strategies from a corporate governance perspective. Read more.
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Kind regards, Valur Þráinsson, Founder of CompetitionFeed.com. Email: valur@competitionfeed.com
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