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Your Weekly Digest | Issue 12/2022

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

European regulators have agreed on a Digital Markets Act that would impose a variety of new requirements on Big Tech companies classified as "gatekeepers." Final votes on the legislation are still pending. Read more. 
Under the European Union's new Digital Markets Act proposal, Apple and Google face far-reaching competition regulations that are designed to remake how they operate. The companies are, as you might expect, not pleased. Read more.
Google has been accused of shielding important business communications by improperly using attorney-client privilege as part of its efforts to defend against a DOJ antitrust lawsuit. Read more.
U.S. engineering and aerospace company Parker-Hannifin has offered remedies to try to secure EU antitrust approval for its 6.3 billion pound ($8.3 billion) bid for British rival Meggitt, a European Commission filing showed on Monday. Read more.
Today, the European Commission has adopted a Temporary Crisis Framework to enable Member States to use the flexibility foreseen under State aid rules to support the economy in the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Read more. 
The European Commission, the EU national competition authorities as well as the EFTA Surveillance Authority (‘European Competition Network' or ‘ECN') have published today a joint statement on the application of competition law in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Read more. 
The Federal Trade Commission will require the divestiture of energy producer EP Energy Corp.’s entire business and assets in Utah. Read more.
The Federal Court has ordered that Australasian Food Group, trading as Peters Ice Cream, pay a $12 million penalty for anti-competitive conduct in relation to the distribution of ice creams sold in petrol stations and convenience stores, in proceedings brought by the ACCC. Peters Ice Cream admitted that, from November 2014 to December 2019, it acquired distribution services from PFD Food Services on condition that PFD would not sell or distribute competitors’ single serve ice cream products in various geographic areas throughout Australia without the prior written consent of Peters Ice Cream. Read more.
The Court of Justice, sitting in the Grand Chamber, has delivered today two judgments in bpost (C-117/20) and Nordzucker and Others (C-151/20) on the scope of the protection afforded… Read more.
Tilman Kuhn, Strati Sakellariou-Witt and Peter Citron
On 1 March 2022, the European Commission (“EC”) published for consultation two draft revised horizontal block exemption regulations (“HBERs”) on research & development (“R&D”) and specialisation agreements, as well as draft revised horizontal cooperation guidelines (“Horizontal Guidelines”). The EC’s stated aim is to make it easier for companies to cooperate in areas such as R&D... Read more.
Justin P. Murphy, Paul M. Thompson, Han Cui, Joshua W. Eastby, Anthony S. Ferrara, Alexandra LewisMarisa E. Poncia
The US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division (Division) has continued to actively investigate and pursue alleged criminal violations of antitrust laws and collusive activity in government procurement. US Attorney General Merrick Garland noted in a March 2022 speech at the ABA Institute on White Collar Crime that the Division ended last fiscal year “with 146 open grand jury investigations—the most in 30years.”[1] As we near the end of the first quarter of 2022, the Division has a record number of criminal cases either in trial or awaiting trial. Read more. 
A new empirical study attempts to estimate the economy-wide welfare costs of common ownership. The authors find that they are large and have risen dramatically over the last quarter-century, particularly over the last decade. A large chunk of the stock market is now owned by a few giant asset management firms. BlackRock just passed $10... Read more.
ERIK HOVENKAMP AND D. DANIEL SOKOL
A few months ago, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called for Amazon to be broken up. Instead, last week Amazon finalized its acquisition of major film studio MGM. Read more.
Lazar Radic
After years of debate and negotiations, European Lawmakers have agreed upon what will most likely be the final iteration of the Digital Markets Act (“DMA”), following the March 24 final round of “trilogue” talks.  For the uninitiated, the DMA is one in a string of legislative proposals around the globe intended to “rein in” tech... Read more.
Miguel A Fonseca, Ricardo Gonçalves
Joana Pinho
, Giovanni Tobacco
We explore the impacts of different antitrust regimes on managers’ labor contracts, when shareholders are intent on their managers engaging in price fixing activities. We compare legal regimes that fine firms to regimes that prosecute managers. We build a simple theoretical model, which we take to the laboratory. We observe contract choices of shareholders for a given legal regime, as well as the likelihood of managers forming explicit cartels and coordinating on prices in a repeated Bertrand oligopoly, taking contract and legal regime as given. Our results suggest that there is less collusion when the legal regime prosecutes managers. High-powered contracts do not incentivize cartel formation or price coordination effectively, irrespective of legal regime. Nevertheless, high-powered contracts were most frequently chosen by shareholders, often with collusive intents. Read more. 
Miguel A Fonsec Ricardo Gonçalvesa,
Joana Pinho
, Giovanni Tobacco
We explore the impacts of different antitrust regimes on managers’ labor contracts, when shareholders are intent on their managers engaging in price fixing activities. We compare legal regimes that fine firms to regimes that prosecute managers. We build a simple theoretical model, which we take to the laboratory. We observe contract choices of shareholders for a given legal regime, as well as the likelihood of managers forming explicit cartels and coordinating on prices in a repeated Bertrand oligopoly, taking contract and legal regime as given. Our results suggest that there is less collusion when the legal regime prosecutes managers. High-powered contracts do not incentivize cartel formation or price coordination effectively, irrespective of legal regime. Nevertheless, high-powered contracts were most frequently chosen by shareholders, often with collusive intents. Read more.
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Kind regards, Valur Þráinsson, Founder of CompetitionFeed.com. Email: valur@competitionfeed.com
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