Many thanks to our loyal readers for following us throughout the year. We had a great run in 2021 with a vast increase in our audience.
Many thanks also to the legislators, competition officials and policy-makers for giving us great materials to draw from.
2021 has been a year of intense developments on the Platform Law front:
- Ex ante legislation is being prepared in the EU (with the DMA and the DSA) and the UK (the DMU regime), and several bills that would impose constraints on large tech companies are pending before the U.S. Congress.
- Competition authorities have also been busy with both the European Commission (the “EC”) and the national competition authorities (“NCAs”) pursuing a range of cases against large tech companies. While large tech cases were initially run by the EC, NCAs are becoming increasingly active in that space.
- Courts have also been busy with platform cases in key jurisdictions. The Epic Games v. Apple saga in the U.S. kept us busy throughout the year, while the General Court of the EU adopted its eagerly awaited judgment in the Google Shopping case in November.
But we expect 2022 to be even more captivating:
- The critically-important DMA is likely to be adopted during the first part of 2022. It will force important changes to the way gatekeepers conduct their business in the EU.
- On the UK side, the legislation enabling the CMA to implement the DMU regime will hopefully be tabled and adopted in Parliament. In the meantime, the CMA will continue to use its existing powers (market studies, antitrust investigations, etc.) to build its knowledge base in the tech space.
- While it is hard to tell what will happen to the platform-focused bills pending before U.S. Congress, progress is expected.
- A number of competition investigations are likely to bear fruition in 2022, including the European Commission’s investigation in Apple’s App Store conduct following the Spotify complaint. But further progress is also expected in a range of platform cases at the EU and national levels, involving Apple, Google, Meta and Amazon.
- The Bundeskartellamt’s investigations into Meta, Amazon, Google and Apple to determine whether they can be designated as companies of “paramount significance across markets” pursuant to the new Section 19a of the German Competition Act are also expected to deliver results in the first part of 2022.
- Courts will continue to play an important role. The General Court of the EU should issue its judgment in the Google Android case.
- Further developments are also expected in cases initiated by the DoJ and U.S. States, for instance against Google.
We are looking forward to comment on these developments in 2022. In the meantime, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!