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On February 14, 2019 the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of the European Union agreed to implement new rules designed to ensure a fair, transparent and predictable business environment to the benefit of both end consumers and entrepreneurs using third-party online platforms for their business. The Council and European Parliament will adopt these new rules by way of EU regulations. Further improvement of the current rules will occur to keep pace with changes affecting…
On February 14, 2019, the European Commission, European Parliament, and Council of the European Union reached agreement on new rules designed to ensure a fair, transparent and predictable business environment to the benefit of both end consumers and entrepreneurs using third party online platforms for their business. The new rules will be implemented by way of an EU regulation to be adopted by the Council and European Parliament. Members of our competition team have outlined the main…
The German Federal Cartel Office (”FCO“) has launched a sector inquiry into “online price comparison websites.” This sector inquiry is the first specific proceeding in which the FCO applies its new competencies in the area of consumer protection given to it by the 9th amendment to the German Act against Restraints of Competition (“ARC”). Another sector inquiry concerning consumer protection issues in everyday digital life might follow next year. Background Sector inquiries are not targeted against…
On 12 July 2017, the German government adopted new provisions amending the German Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (Außenwirtschaftsverordnung – “AWV”). By implementing the new rules, Germany is trying to stop losing know-how to foreign countries by blocking unwanted takeovers by non-European companies. The amendments are regarded as a response to the takeover of German robotics manufacturer Kuka last year by a Chinese company, which could not be prohibited by the German government although know-how…
Facebook is faced with a fine of EUR110 million (US$122 million) for providing misrepresentative or incorrect information to the European Commission when it filed the acquisition of WhatsApp for merger approval in 2014. In the notification, Facebook stated it would not be able to reliably link Facebook users’ accounts and WhatsApp users’ accounts. However, two years later, Facebook updated its terms of service, which then allowed for a matching of Facebook and WhatsApp user accounts.…
The European Commission has imposed a fine of EUR110 million (US$122 million) on Facebook for providing misleading or incorrect information to the European Commission when it filed the acquisition of WhatsApp for merger approval in 2014. In the notification, Facebook stated that it would be unable to establish a reliable automated matching between Facebook users’ accounts and WhatsApp users’ accounts. However, two years later, Facebook updated its terms of service, which then allowed for a…
The upcoming ninth amendment of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen, ARC), which has already been approved by the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) and the German Federal Council (Bundesrat), is expected to enter into force shortly. The new law is tailored to adapt German competition law to the specific features of digital markets, for instance, when assessing the market power of digital platforms. The traditional turnover-based concepts proved inadequate in capturing…
The “Digital Strategy 2025”, adopted by the German Federal Government on March 1, 2016, aims to ensure that Germany remains a growing, modern and significant financial marketplace in an increasingly digitalized environment. Measures proposed under the Digital Strategy 2025 include the further development of Germany’s regulatory landscape, in particular in the areas of competition and consumer rights. On March 20, 2017, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft…