Let me get this straight from the beginning. I am not a big fan of the trend among the competition authorities to introduce whistleblowing programs. For me this seems to be rather a sign of weakness and not of strength. If other available tools (and especially the leniency program) worked well there would probably be…

The German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) terminated antitrust proceedings against toy manufacturer Lego on July 18, 2016, following Lego’s agreement to change its current rebate system. Lego will enable online retailers to obtain in practice the same amount of discounts as available for brick and mortar shops. The FCO had opened proceedings against Lego based…

In all competition investigations, it is inevitable that the parties under investigation, and often also third parties, will receive numerous information requests and demands to produce documents and provide information. Such requests may be either formal or informal in nature. These are often burdensome, requiring the provision of substantial information and documentation in a short…

This blog deals with the 2nd part of the FCO’s discussion paper on internet platforms: possible theories of harm and intervention of competition agencies. For the first part on general concepts please see my previous blog. Merger control The FCO explains that reducing the number of platforms may actually increase competition, due to the easier…

The Polish Competition Authority, which is the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (the “PCA”), has announced that, starting from 1 September 2015, it will be issuing statements of objections to undertakings and will set up an internal evaluation committee. These new tools are, in PCA’s own words, designed to “strengthen procedural…

On 20 April 2015, the Dutch competition authority ACM published Guidelines on its enforcement priorities with respect to vertical restraints. The document contains a number of case studies intended to illustrate the types of cases that the ACM would or would not consider priorities for its enforcement. One case study is closely modelled on the…

The Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) has recently published its draft Annual Plan for 2015/2016, its second year of operation after assuming the functions of the Competition Commission and the competition functions of the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) on 1 April 2014. Together with a Strategic Assessment of the risks that consumers and markets…

On 10 June 2014, the Polish Parliament adopted a significant set of amendments to the Polish Competition Law Act (the “Act”). Having received Presidential approval on 30 June 2014, the amended Act is now waiting for publication. The changes are expected to come into force relatively soon. The amendments will take effect 6 months after…

I. INTRODUCTION Perhaps more than ever, tensions between suppliers and retailers have become the defining feature of the grocery industry worldwide. These tensions have also frequently formed the basis for interventions (or proposed interventions) by competition enforcement authorities in this sector. Canada is no exception to this global trend. The Canadian retail grocery industry is…

The proceedings brought by the European Commission against Google are nearing a – provisional – end with the prospect of a decision making binding on Google a revised set of commitments (see here for the Commission statement and here for the full text of the proposed commitments). Independently of their merits in addressing the Commission’s…