The FTC’s landmark case against Amazon tackles the central issue of e-commerce market power

Since Lina Khan – famously an Amazon critic – was appointed chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a significant lawsuit against Amazon has been expected. The lawsuit was finally launched on Tuesday, brought jointly by the FTC and 17 state attorneys general. The FTC says that Amazon has raised its fees and commissions, cluttered … Continue reading The FTC’s landmark case against Amazon tackles the central issue of e-commerce market power

Amazon/iRobot: Does Amazon have an incentive to preference its own products?

We have previously posted about Amazon’s acquisition of the robot vacuum cleaner (“RVC”) brand, iRobot, for $1.7 billion. The case has now been cleared by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) at Phase 1, and referred to Phase 2 for an in-depth investigation by the European Commission. We therefore have another case of diverging … Continue reading Amazon/iRobot: Does Amazon have an incentive to preference its own products?

In defence of judicial review: The established UK appeal standard is the best approach for a dynamic digital economy

As readers of this blog will know, the UK’s Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers ("DMCC") Bill seeks to create a brand-new ex ante regulatory framework for firms with ‘strategic market status’ ("SMS"), defined as firms that hold substantial and entrenched market power in a digital activity, that provides them with a position of strategic significance. … Continue reading In defence of judicial review: The established UK appeal standard is the best approach for a dynamic digital economy

Fashionably late:  The UK digital markets legislation starts its passage through Parliament

More than four years after the Furman Report, the British Government has laid its Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill before Parliament.  However, what is perhaps more remarkable than the delays is how closely the Bill sticks to the CMA’s original recommendations. One can always quibble over some of the drafting, but overall this is … Continue reading Fashionably late:  The UK digital markets legislation starts its passage through Parliament

Spinning Amazon’s Flywheel: How Amazon’s Business Model Harms Competition

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that we’ve been writing more about Amazon. We believe competition law has not yet fully grappled with its multifaceted business model, which has the Prime membership bundle of products at its core. Damien Geradin and I are therefore pleased to share our detailed paper on Amazon’s business … Continue reading Spinning Amazon’s Flywheel: How Amazon’s Business Model Harms Competition

Interview with Tom Fish, Head of public policy and research at Gener8, and formerly Assistant Director at the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority

Tom Smith, Geradin Partners: November 2022 was an important month for the UK’s efforts to curb the power of big tech. The Chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement that the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill will be introduced into parliament in the 3rd parliamentary session (it is currently rumoured to be scheduled for April … Continue reading Interview with Tom Fish, Head of public policy and research at Gener8, and formerly Assistant Director at the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority

The Responsible Online Commerce Coalition (ROCC): Businesses team up to ensure a level playing field in e-commerce

Amazon’s revenues reached half a trillion dollars in 2022, having increased tenfold in a decade. There are few companies as fascinating and impressive as Amazon and arguably no other company occupies such a central position in the modern retail economy in the US and Europe. Its famous e-commerce platform represents more than half of e-commerce … Continue reading The Responsible Online Commerce Coalition (ROCC): Businesses team up to ensure a level playing field in e-commerce

Amazon settles EU allegations regarding third-party sellers on Amazon Marketplace: some progress made but much remains to be done

The European Commission has accepted a set of legally-binding commitments offered by Amazon to settle two long-running antitrust investigations into whether Amazon has abused its dominant position in e-commerce.  In doing so, the Commission will not issue a formal infringement decision and will not impose a fine.   This is a significant outcome for these … Continue reading Amazon settles EU allegations regarding third-party sellers on Amazon Marketplace: some progress made but much remains to be done

Full steam ahead for the UK Digital Markets Unit

UK politics has been in a parlous state. Today the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer attempted to stabilize the country’s finances by announcing some eye-watering tax rises and spending cuts in the Autumn Statement. However, of more relevance to readers of this blog, he also made a significant announcement about the legislation required to implement … Continue reading Full steam ahead for the UK Digital Markets Unit

Big Tech’s financial services activities – and their forthcoming regulatory attention

Apple, Google and Amazon (and to a lesser extent, Meta) have been tentatively expanding into the financial services sector for years now. It has been very interesting to watch their strategies and it seems things are hotting up. Damien and I wrote an article on this topic, which was published in the European Competition Journal … Continue reading Big Tech’s financial services activities – and their forthcoming regulatory attention