Topic: Digital markets

The Asia-Pacific Round-up (20 August 2021)

News in brief from the Asia-Pacific region… China’s antitrust authority has published guidance listing a wide array of conduct that it considers unfair competition. Some of the prohibitions mirror traditional antitrust issues, while some would fall under consumer provisions in other jurisdictions. Over in Australia, competition tsar Rod Sims has seemingly supported the UK’s position on the completed Facebook/Giphy tie-up.

19 August 2021

A Q&A with the founder of ValueLicensing

ValueLicensing, a UK-based reseller of pre-owned Microsoft software, filed a standalone claim in the High Court of England and Wales in April seeking upwards of £270 million in damages from Microsoft. The latter responded last month by challenging ValueLicensing’s jurisdiction to bring its case and by filing a motion to strike out the claim, with the court scheduling a hearing for March 2022. Charley Connor spoke to Jonathan Horley, the start-up’s founder and managing director, about what drove him to file the claim and how he believes Microsoft has used anticompetitive contractual clauses and discounts to stop its business customers from reselling licences to use its desktop software.

19 August 2021

DOJ and Apple quarrel over documents in Google case

The Department of Justice has requested an “emergency” meeting with the judge presiding over its monopolisation lawsuit against Google to settle what the government describes as Apple’s reluctance to produce evidence and identify codewords.

19 August 2021

CMA looks to reverse Facebook/Giphy deal

Forcing Facebook to unwind its already completed acquisition of Giphy is likely the only way to solve concerns that the deal has or will harm competition in the markets for social media and display advertising, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has said.

12 August 2021

FTC asks Second Circuit to revisit 1-800 Contacts ruling

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s decision in 1-800 Contacts risks giving “de facto antitrust immunity” to anticompetitive trademark settlements, the Federal Trade Commission has argued in asking the full court to rehear the case.

10 August 2021

Top Indian court blesses Amazon, Flipkart probe

India’s Supreme Court has allowed the Competition Commission of India to proceed with a high-profile antitrust probe into Flipkart and Amazon after rejecting the retailers’ allegations that the investigation is unlawful.

09 August 2021

Are the FTC’s ethics rules shunning tech expertise?

Much of the debate about the revolving door between public agencies and private practice focuses on whether the ethical standards of enforcers like the Federal Trade Commission are strong enough to prevent regulatory capture or even corruption. Four FTC policy experts, including two former FTC technologists, recently published an essay arguing just the opposite, warning that the FTC’s “overbroad” conflict rules are actually hampering the agency’s mission – at least in terms of recruiting and retaining quality technology experts.

06 August 2021

Democrats accuse Amazon and Facebook of seeking to “bully” FTC

Petitions by Amazon and Facebook seeking the recusal of Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan are baseless attacks that appear to be designed to ensure an enforcement stalemate, four Democratic lawmakers have said.

05 August 2021

Greek market study finds weaknesses in EU platform regulation

Greece’s Competition Commission has released an interim report in its e-commerce sector inquiry, which highlights the possible prevalence of resale price maintenance and weaknesses in EU regulation.

03 August 2021

EU launches Phase II probe into Facebook/Kustomer deal

The European Commission has opened its second in-depth merger investigation following an Article 22 referral, this time examining Facebook’s acquisition of customer service platform Kustomer.

02 August 2021

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