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Your Weekly Digest | Issue 257

Valur Thrainsson
6 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.

Last week we sifted through 5.000+ articles from 100+ publishers to help you stay updated!

Below are the pieces that I have handpicked and find the most recent and relevant competition and anti-trust news, blogs, and journal publications.

Enjoy!

Kind regards, Valur

Panic at the disco: Danes crack down on club cartel | POLITICO
Authorities in Denmark have fined a number of nightclubs for operating a cartel. The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority said Friday that members of the group had agreed not to open nightclubs in the same towns and cities as each other, or to open establishments within a 20-kilometer radius. Some of these arrangements date back more than 15 years, the authority said in a statement.
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UK antitrust watchdog investigates Microsoft's Nuance deal | ABC News
British antitrust regulators are opening an investigation into Microsoft’s $16 billion acquisition of speech recognition company Nuance.
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Meta’s acquisition of VR fitness app Supernatural gets FTC antitrust review | The Verge
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has opened an in-depth antitrust probe of Meta’s plan to buy the popular VR fitness app Supernatural, according to a new report by The Information
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The President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny has issued a conditional approval for Carrefour Polska to purchase retail space used by the Tesco hypermarket in Bielany Wrocławskie.  According to the decision, the space of the Carrefour store at ul. Gen. Hallera 52 in Wrocław, operating on the same market, will be reduced by 1500 m2. This will mean a reduction in Carrefour Polska's market power on the local market. This will ensure that pricing, quality and availability of goods to consumers are not compromised. Once the condition has been fulfilled, the acquiring company will have an obligation to report on its implementation. Read more.
The CMA has provisionally found Cellnex’s proposed purchase of CK Hutchison’s telecoms towers would harm competition. Read more.
The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced today that it is seeking additional public comments until Feb. 15, 2022, on whether and how the division should revise the 1995 Bank Merger Competitive Review Guidelines (Banking Guidelines). The division will use additional comments to ensure that the Banking Guidelines reflect current economic realities and empirical learning, ensure Americans have choices among financial institutions, and guard against the accumulation of market power. The division’s continued focus on the Banking Guidelines is part of an ongoing effort by the federal agencies responsible for banking regulation and supervision. Read more.
Populism at the FTC Undermines Antitrust Enforcement | ProMarket
The FTC plays an essential role in curbing illegal mergers and monopolies and increasing its enforcement is welcome. But to do so effectively, the FTC must stop ignoring the value of expertise, democratic accountability, and due process. Until relatively recently, antitrust had not been a high-profile area of law. In recent years, commentators (including at […]
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Institutional change, on any fundamental level, will have those that seek to defend the status quo up in arms. But in order to effectively curb illegal mergers and monopolies, the FTC must stop paying attention to the antitrust religion of consumer welfare. Earlier this week, Professors Sokol and Wickelgren published a post warning of issues. Read more.
Damien Geradin
On 14 December 2021, the CMA published the Interim Report of its Market Study on Mobile Ecosystems. This is a massive (445 pages + annexes) piece of work, which is – as always with the CMA... Read more.
Siyou Zhou
On 18 November 2021, the China competition authority State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) released the decision that the acquisition of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (”ITW“) over MTS Systems Corporation (“MTS”) is conditionally approved (the “Decision”) [1]. It is the third merger case cleared with remedies by the SAMR in 2021. But what is eye-catching... Read more.
Dirk Auer
Antitrust policymakers around the world have taken a page out of the Silicon Valley playbook and decided to “move fast and break things.” While the slogan is certainly catchy, applying it to the policymaking world is unfortunate and, ultimately, threatens to harm consumers. Several antitrust authorities in recent months have announced their intention to block... Read more.
Haidee Barratt, Alex Hannington and Oliver Latham
In the eighth episode, Haidee Barratt and Alex Hannington are joined by Oliver Latham from Charles River Associates to discuss the role of factual witness and expert evidence in competition claims, taking into account the BritNed decision and the recent CPR and CAT practice directions concerning the preparation of factual witness statements. Read more.
Marc Bourreau, Yutec Sun and Frank Verboven
We study a major new entry in the French mobile telecommunications market, followed by the introduction of fighting brands by the three incumbents. Using an empirical oligopoly model, we find that the incumbents' fighting brand strategies are difficult to rationalize as unilateral best responses. Instead, their strategies are consistent with a breakdown of tacit semi-collusion: before entry, the incumbents could successfully coordinate on restricting product variety to avoid cannibalization; after entry, this outcome became harder to sustain because of increased business stealing incentives. Consumers gained considerably from the added variety and, to a lesser extent, from the incumbents' price responses. Read more.
  • We establish conditions under which the possibility of merger can induce an entrant to inefficiently imitate an incumbent's product instead of innovating with a more differentiated product.
  • Current practice is to evaluate a proposed merger by focusing solely on post-merger effects, and we show that such policies can induce an entrant to choose an inefficient direction for its pre-merger investment. Read more.
Ioannis Lianos, Timo Minssen and
Christy L. Kollmar

All across the globe antitrust authorities responded quickly, determined to tackle the worst impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. While regulators and courts can apply competition and antitrust rules both as enforcing “swords” to achieve public health goals and “enabling” shields to promote specific collaborations, it appears that the “enabling collaborations” function has been particularly important to rapidly facilitate much needed pandemic responses. Read more.
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Kind regards, Valur Þráinsson, Founder of CompetitionFeed.com. Email: valur@competitionfeed.com
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