As the European Commission is digesting the (voluminous) results of its public consultation on the upcoming Digital Services Act (“DSA”) package and preparing a proposal for what is described in its “Inception Impact Assessment” as an “ex ante regulatory instrument for large online platforms with significant network effects acting as gate-keepers in the European Union’s … Continue reading What is a digital gatekeeper?
As has been widely reported in the press, Google has decided to adopt a more aggressive approach to the enforcement of the obligation imposed on app developers offering in-app purchases of digital goods on Google Play to use Google's proprietary payment solution "Google Play In-App Billing" and pay the associated 30% commission. At the same … Continue reading Google’s improvements to Google Play: A preliminary review
The past couple of years have seen the launch and, in most cases, completion of multiple studies by competition authorities as well as independent bodies on what needs to be done to address the competition challenges created by large digital platforms (see, e.g., the UK Furman report, the U.S. Stigler report, the EC Competition Policy … Continue reading Competition law and digital gatekeepers: Too many studies, too little enforcement?
On 13 August 2020, Epic Games filed lawsuits against Apple and Google in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California alleging their use of a series of anti-competitive restraints and monopolistic practices in the markets for (i) the distribution of apps to users of mobile computing devices like smartphones and tablets, and (ii) the … Continue reading Epic Games files lawsuits against Apple and Google
On 22 July 2020, i.e. a few days away from the Congressional hearing (which may however be postponed) where the CEOs of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are expected to testify, the Analysis Group released an Apple-sponsored study entitled “Apple’s App Store and Other Digital Marketplaces: A Comparison of Commission Rates”. The purpose of this … Continue reading Apple App Store’s Commission Rates study misses the mark
On 16 June 2020, the European Commission opened formal antitrust investigations to assess whether Apple's rules for app developers on the distribution of apps via the App Store violate EU competition rules. The Commission's press release states that the Commission will investigate in particular two restrictions imposed by Apple in its agreements with companies that … Continue reading The App Store and antitrust: Lofty statements by Apple executive and academic friendly to Apple’s views don’t do the trick
Yesterday The Wall Street Journal broke the news that the EU is about to formally charge Amazon regarding its treatment of third-party sellers on its marketplace. The European Commission - which has been investigating Amazon since September 2018 - is expected to issue a Statement of Objection during the summer, whereby it will lay down … Continue reading European Commission to send a statement of objections to Amazon. No, this is not protectionism.
Today, I am delighted to interview my friend Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify’s Head of Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer. Just as the Commission launched its public consultation on the DSA package, it is a great time to discuss with Horacio the future of innovation, competition and regulation in digital markets. Horacio, could you tell us … Continue reading Questions and answers with Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify’s Head of Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer
As discussed in a prior post, the European Commission is currently working on an ex ante regulation to control the market power of so-called “digital gatekeepers” or “systemic platforms”. An idea floated by some would be to base this ex ante regulation on the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications. The main features of this … Continue reading Should the EU’s forthcoming ex ante regulation of digital gatekeepers be based on the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications?