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The FTC Knows It When It Sees It

TOTM When Congress created the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 1914, it charged the agency with condemning “unfair methods of competition.” That’s not the language Congress used in . . .

When Congress created the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 1914, it charged the agency with condemning “unfair methods of competition.” That’s not the language Congress used in writing America’s primary antitrust statute, the Sherman Act, which prohibits “monopoliz[ation]” and “restraint[s] of trade.”

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

FTC Section 5 Statement: Less Guidance Than Meets the Eye

TOTM On Nov. 10, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a new statement explaining how it will exercise its standalone FTC Act Section 5 authority. Despite the length . . .

On Nov. 10, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a new statement explaining how it will exercise its standalone FTC Act Section 5 authority. Despite the length of the statement and the accompanying commentaries from most of the commissioners, there is less guidance than one might expect from so many words. One thing is clear, however: Expect more antitrust enforcement from the FTC in ways we have not seen in years, if ever.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

The FTC’s UMC Policy Statement: Untethered from Consumer Welfare and the Rule of Reason

ICLE Issue Brief On Nov. 10, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a new policy statement regarding the scope of “unfair methods of competition” (UMC) under Section 5 of the FTC Act. The new statement fills the gap left by the Commission’s July 2021 rescission of its 2015 policy statement.

On Nov. 10, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a new policy statement[1] regarding the scope of “unfair methods of competition” (UMC) under Section 5 of the FTC Act. The new statement fills the gap left by the Commission’s July 2021 rescission[2] of its 2015 policy statement.[3] Democratic appointees Chair Lina Khan and Commissioners Rebecca Slaughter and Alvaro Bedoya voted in favor of the new policy statement, while Commissioner Christine Wilson, a Republican appointee, dissented.[4]

The new statement describes the policy changes that the Commission majority previewed in 2021: the FTC will target a much broader range of conduct than it has in the past, as it untethers “unfair methods of competition” from, inter alia, consumer welfare, the rule of reason, and actual or likely harm to competition.

The policy statement sketches an architecture for UMC determinations that, on closer inspection, is ephemeral or, at best, radically unspecified. Under the new statement, unfair methods of competition mean “conduct undertaken by an actor in the marketplace—as opposed to merely a condition of the marketplace, not of the respondent’s making, such as high concentration or barriers to entry.”[5] That seems largely unhelpful. But for the suggestion that, following established law, monopoly (or high concentration) or structural barriers to entry are still not to be deemed prohibited in or of themselves, this seems a statement that conduct will not be deemed unfair unless it is, in fact, commercial conduct. The contrast with “competition on the merits” lacks content: the FTC has no statutory charge to define competition on the merits, except in the breach; it has not defined “competition on the merits” in the past and it does not do so in the present policy statement.

We are provided with a necessary conjunction. Conduct will only be deemed unfair if it is both:

  1. “unfair”; and
  2. “tend[s] to negatively affect competitive conditions.”[6]

The first term of the conjunction is satisfied by conduct fitting under a complex, if vague, disjunction: conduct that is “coercive, exploitative, collusive, abusive, deceptive, predatory” or acts that “involve the use of economic power of a similar nature,” or conduct that “may” be “otherwise restrictive or exclusionary.”

The second term is noteworthy mostly for what it is not. It does not specify either harm to competition or harm to consumers, but rather a tendency (not necessarily a likelihood) to “negatively affect” (perhaps to harm) “competitive conditions.”

We are told UMC will apply only to conduct that satisfies both sides of the conjunction, but we are also told that the FTC will evaluate conduct under these two complex criteria on a sliding scale, such that, where the markers of “unfairness” are clear, a lesser showing of a tendency to have a negative impact on competitive conditions may suffice for a finding of liability, and vice versa.

Before we try to unpack the conditions proffered by the Commission’s new policy statement, we are told to disabuse ourselves of familiar terms and standards. First, the Commission expressly abandons the consumer welfare standard. In its place, we have a sort of any-party-in-the-marketplace standard, concerned with effects on “consumers, workers, or other market participants.”[7] Second, whether conduct “tends to” affect (negatively) any party “does not turn to whether the conduct directly caused actual harm in the specific instance at issue.” Effects need not be “current” or “measurable” or even “actual,” the distinctions between “unmeasurable” and “immeasurable,” and between “actual,” “likely,” and “possible,” notwithstanding,

Some of this relaxation of standards is supposed to be necessary to get at incipient harms under Section 5, and not just under Section 7 of the Clayton Act. But there’s a bit of a fudge on established notions of incipiency, and on the broader antitrust notion of actual or likely harm. An invitation to collude may be more or less likely to succeed, but it is, in any case, an attempt to do something that is per se unlawful; that is, something that is extremely likely to cause actual harm to competition and consumers should it come to fruition. There is no procompetitive rationale for an invitation to collude. But here, incipiency is divorced even from the notion that a given course of conduct by some specific party is likely to harm competition and consumers, whether it comes to fruition or not.

Second, the Commission expressly disavows the rule of reason, calling it “open ended” and capable of delivering “inconsistent and unpredictable results.”[8] At the same time, the new statement lacks any limiting principle, and it is hard to see how it could be more consistent or in any way predictable in application.

When we come to positive criteria, we find the unfairness laundry list catalogued above. Yet most of those terms lack any clear meaning under U.S. antitrust law, even if they occur here and there in dicta in Supreme Court or lower-court opinions. For example, after reeling off six terms of the “unfair” disjunction (coercive, exploitative, collusive, abusive, deceptive, and predatory), the statement first cites Sperry & Hutchinson for the proposition that Section 5 reaches conduct “shown to exploit consumers.” True, 50 years ago, the Court did wax expansive on the scope of Section 5.[9] In doing so, the Court opined that a showing of the exploitation of consumers—harm to consumers—could constitute a violation of Section 5. But the current policy statement does not require harm to either competition or consumers; and the notion that the Court would today sustain a finding of UMC liability absent harm to either competition or consumers is dubious. Moreover, the Sperry & Hutchinson Court’s discussion of “exploitation” was in no way necessary to its decision in that matter; that was, namely, that the Commission had not made its case without the bounds of the antitrust laws:

The opinion is barren of any attempt to rest the order on its assessment of particular competitive practices or considerations of consumer interests independent of possible or actual effects on competition. Nor were any standards for doing so referred to or developed.[10]

In brief, the Court’s hoary discussion of “exploitation” has no clear precedential value. But if it did, the discussion would give no guidance to industry or the bar on the question what today’s Commission means by “exploitation.” The Commission’s statement offers no clue at all about the limits to the conduct the Commission purports to proscribe.

Elsewhere in the statement, the Commission cites Leegin in support of the proposition that Section 5 reaches “parallel exclusionary conduct that may cause aggregate harm.” The citation seems inapt, at best, given Leegin’s holding, “that Dr. Miles should be overruled and that vertical price restraints are to be judged by the rule of reason.”[11] The Commission characterizes Leegin as “holding that the extent of adoption of resale price maintenance across the industry is relevant to legality.” The Court does opine that “the number of manufacturers that make use of the practice in a given industry can provide important instruction” in a rule-of-reason inquiry into the legality of a practice.[12] But that is not the holding in Leegin, which reversed a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision applying a per se standard of liability, as had the trial court below it. Leegin emphasized the importance of the rule of reason (rejected by the current policy statement) and consumer welfare (rejected by the current policy statement) and noted that conduct such as retail price maintenance “may not be a serious concern unless the relevant entity has market power”[13] (again, rejected by the current policy statement). The Commission might also recall the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Boise Cascade: “to allow a finding of a Section 5 violation on the theory that the mere widespread use of a practice makes it an incipient threat to competition would be to blur the distinction between guilty and innocent commercial behavior.”[14]

Having provided an essentially vague and open-ended account of “unfair methods of competition,” the Commission rejects the notion that it must consider any justifications for conduct it deems facially violative of that “standard.” It may, but the statement is clearest on the question of what will not suffice. Neither a demonstration of “net efficiencies” nor a “numerical cost-benefit” test will suffice;[15] neither will benefit in another market, no matter how inextricably tied to the one in which there’s a purported tendency to foster the open-ended harms. We are told that “[s]ome well-established limitations on what defenses are permissible in an antitrust case apply in the Section 5 context as well”—as if, perhaps, we wondered whether pretextual justifications might do when net efficiencies or net consumer benefits would not.

To justify the broad expansion of its interpretation of its UMC authority, the Commission reaches extensively, if selectively, into the legislative history of the FTC Act. The statement argues that, when Congress passed the FTC Act in 1914, it intended the law to be broader than the Sherman Act. That claim, at that level of abstraction, is uncontroversial. The question had never been whether the bounds of Section 5 exceed those of the Sherman Act, to any degree, in any context. Rather, there were live questions about the extent to which Section 5 does so, and the methods by which standalone Section 5 violations might be determined. The FTC portrays the new statement as a “restoration” of “rigorous enforcement” of the ban on unfair methods of competition,[16] but it does so without any rigor of its own, or any clear justification for fixing on some certain days past as halcyon.

As Commissioner Wilson observes in her dissenting statement, the Commission’s selective appeals to legislative history elides the congressional backlash triggered by the FTC’s overplaying its hand in the 1970s. It also ignores much of the past century’s development of antitrust jurisprudence, in which the Sherman and Clayton Acts have proved effective, and the courts (and the antitrust agencies) have developed principles to provide guidance as to what makes conduct unlawful.

It is well-established, as Commissioner Wilson acknowledges, that Section 5 reaches “incipient violations” of the antitrust laws. But eliminating the need to show likely anticompetitive effects, market power, or consumer harm attached to any given course of conduct, along with the repudiation of measurement (or estimation) and efficiency—as the statement does—in favor of a focus on an ill-defined “tendency to generate negative consequences” for some market participant or other can only serve to diminish rigor in FTC analysis and predictability in its conclusions. Rather, as Commissioner Wilson suggests, it is likely to favor the personal views or intuitions of a sitting majority of commissioners.

Commissioner Wilson observes that the statement “resembles the work of an academic or a think tank fellow” with dreams of “remaking the economy.”[17] Adopting only vague notions of the meaning of unfairness, and lacking grounding in established antitrust analysis, the FTC promises enforcement and possible rulemaking based on the idea that appointed “expert” commissioners will be best suited to determine what conduct is unlawful. This increases the odds of arbitrary actions by the FTC. Commissioner Wilson explains that the policy statement reflects an “I know it when I see it” approach “premised on a list of nefarious-sounding adjectives” without antitrust or economic meaning or any clear methodology.[18]

Chair Khan responds to Commissioner Wilson by arguing that Congress purposefully created an expert agency that would target conduct outside the scope of the antitrust laws under a definition of unfair methods of competition that the agency itself would create.[19] Perhaps, but in 1914, “outside the scope of the antitrust laws” meant beyond the scope of the 1890 Sherman Act, as then understood, not beyond all antitrust statutes and amendments to follow, come what may. And however the Commission’s UMC authority was (and mostly was not) specified in the FTC Act, it is clear that the agency—as an institution—was supposed to develop its expertise and the notion of UMC with oversight by (and input from) Congress and the courts. Reaching past several decades of established agency practice and decisions of the federal courts, including those of the Supreme Court, was never part of the institutional design. Not incidentally, it calls into question the subject matter of the Commission’s purported expertise.

The FTC has provided some clues as to what it hopes to accomplish, if not by any definite method or subject to any limiting principle. In the new policy statement, the Commission states that the “size, power, and purpose of the respondent” may be relevant to its UMC inquiry.[20] Abandoning the protection of consumer welfare, and looking to possible effects on “other market participants,” the FTC is setting its sight on so-called “bigness” and the protection of weaker competitors.

In his supporting statement, Commissioner Bedoya makes plain that the FTC should ensure a “level playing field for small business” and “all competitors,” arguing that it is not the FTC’s job to promote efficiency.[21] Commissioner Bedoya provides examples of conduct that the FTC may bring under the UMC umbrella, including conduct that may pass muster under the antitrust laws (or specifically, the rule of reason): local price cutting, tying conduct, exclusive contracts, rebates and preferential contracts, dominant control of inputs, manipulation, certain forms of refusal to deal, information collection on rivals, and coercion, threats, and intimidation. What Commissioner Bedoya and the Commission majority do not provide is a method for assessing when such conduct runs afoul of Section 5, or a policy rationale for condemning conduct without a showing of actual or likely harm to competition or consumers.

Finally, the policy statement also reiterates that the current FTC believes it has the power to create binding, substantive UMC rules. The combination of an assertion of overly broad and loosely defined substantive coverage of conduct, together with an assertion of broad remedial and legislative powers, previews an aggressive agency with heavy-handed enforcement and rulemaking to come.

* Daniel Gilman is a senior scholar with the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) and a former advisor at the Federal Trade Commission. Gus Hurwitz is ICLE’s director of law & economics programs.

[1] Policy Statement Regarding the Scope of Unfair Methods of Competition Under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, Federal Trade Commission (Nov. 10, 2022), available at https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/ftc_gov/pdf/P221202Section5PolicyStatement.pdf [hereinafter “2022 UMC Policy Statement.”]

[2] Statement of Chair Lina M. Khan, Joined by Commissioner Rohit Chopra and Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, on the Withdrawal of the Statement of Enforcement Principles Regarding “Unfair Methods of Competition” Under Section 5 of the FTC Act, Federal Trade Commission (Jul. 1, 2021), available at https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements/1591498/final_statement_of_chair_khan_joined_by_rc_and_rks_on_section_5_0.pdf [hereinafter “2021 Withdrawal Statement.”]

[3] Statement of Enforcement Principles Regarding “Unfair Methods of Competition” Under Section 5 of the FTC Act, Federal Trade Commission (Aug. 13, 2015), available at https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements/735201/150813section5enforcement.pdf.

[4] Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson, Federal Trade Commission (Nov. 10, 2022), available at https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/ftc_gov/pdf/P221202Section5PolicyWilsonDissentStmt.pdf [hereinafter “Wilson Dissent.’]

[5] 2022 UMC Policy Statement, supra note 1, at 8.

[6] 2022 UMC Policy Statement, supra note 1, at 9.

[7] Id.

[8] 2021 Withdrawal Statement, supra note 2, at 3.

[9] FTC v. Sperry & Hutchinson Co., 405 U.S. 233 (1972).

[10] Id., at para. 40.

[11] Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc., 551 U.S. 877 (2007).

[12] Id., at 17.

[13] Id., at 18.

[14] Boise Cascade v. FTC, 637 F.2d 573, 582 (9th Cir. 1980).

[15] 2022 UMC Policy Statement, supra note 1, at 11.

[16] FTC Restores Rigorous Enforcement of Law Banning Unfair Methods of Competition, Federal Trade Commission (Nov. 10, 2022), https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2022/11/ftc-restores-rigorous-enforcement-law-banning-unfair-methods-competition.

[17] Wilson Dissent, supra note 4, at 2.

[18] Id.

[19] Statement of Chair Lina M. Khan, Federal Trade Commission (Nov. 10, 2022), available at https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/ftc_gov/pdf/Section5PolicyStmtKhanSlaughterBedoyaStmt.pdf.

[20] 2022 UMC Policy Statement, supra note 1, at 9.

[21] Statement of Commissioner Alvaro M. Bedoya, Federal Trade Commission (Nov. 10, 2022), available at https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/ftc_gov/pdf/P221202Section5PolicyStmtBedoyaStmt.pdf.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

AG Bonta’s Amazon lawsuit leaves consumers with a lump of coal

Popular Media Just in time for the holiday shopping season, California Attorney General Rob Bonta is bringing a lawsuit against Amazon for policies that have helped many . . .

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, California Attorney General Rob Bonta is bringing a lawsuit against Amazon for policies that have helped many buyers find what they are looking for and get the best online deals.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

Gus Hurwitz on FTC Consent Decrees

Presentations & Interviews ICLE Director of Law & Economics Programs Gus Hurwitz joined Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s The Cyberlaw Podcast to discuss (among other topics): The FTC is likely . . .

ICLE Director of Law & Economics Programs Gus Hurwitz joined Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s The Cyberlaw Podcast to discuss (among other topics):

The full podcast episode is embedded below.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

Three Big Pitfalls in the Way of Lina Khan’s Agenda

TOTM In a recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Svetlana Gans and Eugene Scalia look at three potential traps the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could trigger if it . . .

In a recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Svetlana Gans and Eugene Scalia look at three potential traps the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could trigger if it pursues the aggressive rulemaking agenda many have long been expecting.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

Dead End Road: National Petroleum Refiners Association and FTC ‘Unfair Methods of Competition’ Rulemaking

TOTM The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has long steered the direction of competition law by engaging in case-by-case enforcement of the FTC Act’s prohibition on unfair . . .

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has long steered the direction of competition law by engaging in case-by-case enforcement of the FTC Act’s prohibition on unfair methods of competition (UMC). Recently, some have argued that the FTC’s exclusive reliance on case-by-case adjudication is too long and arduous a route and have urged the commission to take a shortcut by invoking its purported authority to promulgate UMC rules under Section 6(g) of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

The Paradox of Choice Meets the Information Age

TOTM Barry Schwartz’s seminal work “The Paradox of Choice” has received substantial attention since its publication nearly 20 years ago. In it, Schwartz argued that, faced . . .

Barry Schwartz’s seminal work “The Paradox of Choice” has received substantial attention since its publication nearly 20 years ago. In it, Schwartz argued that, faced with an ever-increasing plethora of products to choose from, consumers often feel overwhelmed and seek to limit the number of choices they must make.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

The Digital Markets Act and EU Antitrust Enforcement: Double & Triple Jeopardy

ICLE White Paper The European Union's Digital Markets Act will intersect with EU and national-level competition law in ways that subject tech platforms to the risk of double jeopardy and conflicting decisions for the same activity.

Executive Summary

In contrast to its stated aims to promote a Digital Single Market across the European Union, the proposed Digital Markets Act (DMA) could serve to fragment Europe’s legal framework even further, largely due to overlaps with competition law. This paper provides an analytical overview of areas where conflicts would inevitably arise from dual application of the DMA and European and national-level antitrust rules. It counsels full centralization of the DMA’s enforcement at the EU level to avoid further fragmentation, as well as constraining the law’s scope by limiting its application to a few large platform ecosystems.

Introduction

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) has entered the last and decisive stage of its approval process. With the Council of Europe having reached consensus on its general approach[1] and the European Parliament having adopted amendments,[2] the DMA proposal has moved into the inter-institutional negotiations known as the so-called “trilogue.”

The DMA has spurred a lively debate since it initially was proposed by the European Commission in December 2020.[3] This deliberative process has touched on all the proposal’s features, including its aims and scope, the regulations and rule-based approach it would adopt, and the measure’s institutional design. However, given the positions expressed by the Council and the Parliament, the rationale for DMA intervention and the proposal’s relationship with antitrust law remain relevant topics for exploration.

The DMA is grounded explicitly on the notion that competition law alone is insufficient to effectively address the challenges and systemic problems posed by the digital platform economy. Indeed, the scope of antitrust is limited to certain instances of market power (e.g., dominance on specific markets) and of anti-competitive behavior.[4] Further, its enforcement occurs ex post and requires extensive investigation on a case-by-case basis of what are often very complex sets of facts.[5] Moreover, it may not effectively address the challenges to well-functioning markets posed by the conduct of gatekeepers, who are not necessarily dominant in competition-law terms.[6] As a result, proposals such as the DMA invoke regulatory intervention to complement traditional antitrust rules by introducing a set of ex ante obligations for online platforms designated as gatekeepers. This also allows enforcers to dispense with the laborious process of defining relevant markets, proving dominance, and measuring market effects.

The DMA’s framers declare that the law aims to protect different legal interests than antitrust rules do. That is, rather than seeking to protect undistorted competition on any given market, the DMA look to ensure that markets where gatekeepers are present remain contestable and fair, independent from the actual, likely, or presumed effects of the conduct of a given gatekeeper.[7] Accordingly, the relevant legal basis for the DMA is found not in Article 103 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which is intended to implement antitrust rules pursuant to Articles 101 and 102 TFEU, but rather in Article 114 TFEU, covering “Common Rules on Competition, Taxation and Approximation of Laws.” Further, from an institutional-design perspective, the DMA opts for centralized implementation and enforcement at the EU level, rather than the traditional decentralized or parallel antitrust enforcement at the national level.

Because the intent of the DMA is to serve as a complementary regulatory scheme, traditional antitrust rules will remain applicable. However, those rules would not alleviate the obligations imposed on gatekeepers under the forthcoming DMA regulations and, particularly, efforts to make the DMA’s application uniform and effective.[8]

Despite claims that the DMA is not an instrument of competition law[9] and thus would not affect how antitrust rules apply in digital markets, the forthcoming regime appears to blur the line between regulation and antitrust by mixing their respective features and goals. Indeed, the DMA shares the same aims and protects the same legal interests as competition law.[10] Further, its list of prohibitions is effectively a synopsis of past and ongoing antitrust cases.[11] Therefore, the proposal can be described as a sector-specific competition law,[12] or a shift toward a more regulatory approach to competition law—one that is designed to allow assessments to be made more quickly and through a more simplified process.[13]

Acknowledging the continuum between competition law and the DMA, the European Competition Network (ECN) and some EU member states (self-anointed “friends of an effective DMA”) have proposed empowering national competition authorities (NCAs) to enforce DMA obligations.[14] Under this approach, while the European Commission would remain primarily responsible for enforcing the DMA and would have sole jurisdiction for designating gatekeepers or granting exemptions, NCAs would be permitted to enforce the DMA’s obligations and to use investigative and monitoring powers at their own initiative. According to supporters of this approach, the concurrent competence of the Commission and NCAs is needed to avoid the risks of conflicting decisions or remedies that would undermine the effectiveness and coherence of both the DMA and antitrust law (and, ultimately, the integrity of the internal market.)[15]

These risks have been heightened by the fact that Germany (one of the “friends of an effective DMA”) subsequently empowered its NCA, the Bundeskartellamt, to intervene at an early stage in cases where it finds that competition is threatened by large digital companies—in essence, granting the agency a regulatory tool that is functionally equivalent to the DMA.[16] Further, several member states are preparing to apply national rules on relative market power and economic dependence to large digital platforms, with the goal of correcting perceived imbalances of bargaining power between online platforms and business users.[17] As a result of these intersections among the DMA, national and European antitrust rules, and national laws on superior bargaining power, a digital platform may be subject to cumulative proceedings for the very same conduct, facing risks of double (or even triple and quadruple) jeopardy.[18]

The aim of this paper is to guide the reader through the jungle of potentially overlapping rules that will affect European digital markets in the post-DMA world. It attempts to demonstrate that, despite significant concerns about both the DMA’s content and its rationale, full centralization of its enforcement at EU level will likely be needed to reduce fragmentation and ensure harmonized implementation of the rules. Frictions with competition law would be further confined by narrowing the DMA’s scope to ecosystem-related issues, thereby limiting its application to the few large platforms that are able to orchestrate an ecosystem.

The paper is structured as follows. Section II analyzes the intersection between the DMA and competition law. Section III examines the DMA’s enforcement structure and the solutions advanced to safeguard cooperation and coordination with member states. Section IV illustrates the arguments supporting full centralization of DMA enforcement and the need to narrow its scope. Section V concludes.

Read the full white paper here.

[1] Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Contestable and Fair Markets on the Digital Sector (Digital Markets Act) – General Approach, Council of the European Union (Nov. 16, 2021), available at https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-13801-2021-INIT/en/pdf.

[2] Amendments Adopted on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Contestable and Fair Markets in the Digital Sector (Digital Markets Act), European Parliament (Dec. 15, 2021), https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2021-12-15_EN.html.

[3] Proposal for a Regulation on Contestable and Fair Markets in the Digital Sector (Digital Markets Act), European Commission (Dec. 15, 2020), available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52020PC0842&from=en.

[4] Ibid., Recital 5.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid., Recital 10.

[8] Ibid., Recital 9 and Article 1(5).

[9] Margrethe Vestager, Competition in a Digital Age, speech to the European Internet Forum (Mar. 17, 2021), https://ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2019-2024/vestager/announcements/competition-digital-age_en.

[10] Heike Schweitzer, The Art to Make Gatekeeper Positions Contestable and the Challenge to Know What Is Fair: A Discussion of the Digital Markets Act Proposal, 3 ZEuP 503 (Jun. 11, 2021).

[11] Cristina Caffarra and Fiona Scott Morton, The European Commission Digital Markets Act: A Translation, Vox EU (Jan. 5, 2021), https://voxeu.org/article/european-commission-digital-markets-act-translation.

[12] Nicolas Petit, The Proposed Digital Markets Act (DMA): A Legal and Policy Review, 12 J. Eur. Compet. Law Pract 529 (May 11, 2021).

[13] Marco Cappai and Giuseppe Colangelo, Taming Digital Gatekeepers: The More Regulatory Approach to Antitrust Law, 41 Comput. Law Secur. Rev. 1 (Apr. 9, 2021).

[14] How National Competition Agencies Can Strengthen the DMA, European Competition Network (Jun. 22, 2021), available at https://ec.europa.eu/competition/ecn/DMA_joint_EU_NCAs_paper_21.06.2021.pdf; Strengthening the Digital Markets Act and Its Enforcement, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, French Ministére de l’Économie, les Finance et de la Relance, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, (May 27, 2021), available at https://www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Downloads/XYZ/zweites-gemeinsames-positionspapier-der-friends-of-an-effective-digital-markets-act.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=4.

[15] European Competition Network, supra note 14, 6-7.

[16] See Section 19a of the GWB Digitalization Act (Jan. 18, 2021), https://www.bundesrat.de/SharedDocs/beratungsvorgaenge/2021/0001-0100/0038-21.html.

[17] See, e.g., German GWB Digitalization Act, supra note 16; See, also, Belgian Royal Decree of 31 July 2020 Amending Books I and IV of the Code of Economic Law as Concerns the Abuse of Economic Dependence, Belgian Official Gazette (Jul. 19, 2020), http://www.ejustice.just.fgov.be/cgi_loi/change_lg.pl?language=fr&la=F&cn=2019040453&table_name=loi.

[18] Marco Cappai and Giuseppe Colangelo, A Unified Test for the European Ne Bis in Idem Principle: The Case Study of Digital Markets Regulation, SSRN working paper (Oct. 27, 2021), https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3951088.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection