FTC, US States file antitrust lawsuit against Facebook to challenge its “buy-or-bury”, “open-first, closed-later” strategies

Wednesday December 9th, 2020: the US Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") and 48 US States (led by New York State Attorney General Letitia James) filed antitrust lawsuits against Facebook, arguing the tech giant has unlawfully maintained its monopoly power in the market for "Personal Social Networking" in breach of Section 2 of the Sherman Act (see … Continue reading FTC, US States file antitrust lawsuit against Facebook to challenge its “buy-or-bury”, “open-first, closed-later” strategies

There is much to like in the CMA Digital Markets Taskforce’s advice to the UK government on a pro-competition regime for digital markets

Yesterday, the Digital Markets Taskforce led by the CMA issued its advice (the "Advice") regarding the setting of a pro-competition regime in digital markets in the UK, referred to as a Strategic Market Status ("SMS regime"). This Advice is a very rich document of 89 pages, accompanied by several Appendices. This post does not intend … Continue reading There is much to like in the CMA Digital Markets Taskforce’s advice to the UK government on a pro-competition regime for digital markets

Shall we see a scaled-down version of the New Competition Tool?

Yesterday, Commissioners Vestager and Breton confirmed via a funny tweet that the Commission's proposal for a Digital Markets Act (DMA) and a Digital Services Act (DSA) will come out on 15 December, instead of 9 December as was originally scheduled. We will therefore have to be a bit more patient. The other DMA-related news was … Continue reading Shall we see a scaled-down version of the New Competition Tool?

The UK Government’s reponse to the CMA Market Study: Some good news with some remaining questions

In July 2020, the CMA published the Final Report of its Online Platforms and Digital Advertising Market Study, which recommended the adoption of a new pro-competition regulatory regime to govern the behaviour of major platforms funded by digital advertising, like Google and Facebook. I was very pleased with this report as it, among others, shed … Continue reading The UK Government’s reponse to the CMA Market Study: Some good news with some remaining questions

New paper on Chrome and the Privacy Sandbox

In an earlier post discussing the fate of targeted advertising, I noted that much of the current debate centers around issues of competition and privacy, and the inevitable trade-offs between them. While personalized advertising promises benefits for publishers and advertisers (and in theory users that value relevant ads), it is under increasing pressure from privacy … Continue reading New paper on Chrome and the Privacy Sandbox

Digital Markets Act: Why the CERRE Recommendations Paper gets it entirely right

A lot of things have been written about the Digital Markets Act, which will be proposed by the Commission on 9 December. In most cases, I agree with some of the recommendations made, while disagreeing with others. For the first time, however, I fully agree with a set of recommendations made by others, which is … Continue reading Digital Markets Act: Why the CERRE Recommendations Paper gets it entirely right

Taming the big tech platforms: DG COMP’s remedy problem (as illustrated by the Google saga)

While the European Commission has often been hailed as the world’s fiercest antitrust enforcer for hanging down two major antitrust decisions against Google, i.e. the so-called Shopping and Android decisions, which were accompanied by hefty fines, the reality is that the companies harmed by Google’s behaviour are highly critical of these decisions given their lack … Continue reading Taming the big tech platforms: DG COMP’s remedy problem (as illustrated by the Google saga)

Apple reduces App Store commission for small developers: Shall we all be happy?

Apple has attracted significant regulatory attention for obliging iOS apps selling "digital goods or services" to use its payment solution In-App Purchase (IAP) to accept user payments and pay a related 30 % commission. Apple's policy on in-app payments is at the core of the Commission's ongoing investigation into Apple (following complaints by developers Spotify … Continue reading Apple reduces App Store commission for small developers: Shall we all be happy?

What should be the fate of targeted advertising?

In a video for The New York Times, computer scientist and philosopher Jaron Lanier described online advertising as “the little space in the middle” combining capitalism with the “socialist” concept that Internet content should be free. Now a multi-billion-dollar industry, online advertising is what funds free online content. It is also what has elevated Google … Continue reading What should be the fate of targeted advertising?

Ex ante regulation of digital gatekeepers: Which institutional mechanisms?

Over the past few weeks, I have authored several blog posts (see here, here and here) on the Commission’s anticipated proposal for a Digital Markets Act, which would apparently comprise two pillars, i.e. ex ante regulation for so-called  “digital gatekeepers” and the New Competition Tool. My posts shared some thoughts on the first of these … Continue reading Ex ante regulation of digital gatekeepers: Which institutional mechanisms?