Media / Competition & Regulatory

EU Commission Fines Gaming Platform, Valve, and five PC Video Game Publishers €8 million for Geo-blocking Practices in Breach of the EU Competition Rules

Introduction In the aftermath of the EU Commission’s E-Commerce Report the EU Commission commenced an antitrust investigation under the EU competition rules into geo-blocking practices of Valve, the owner of a PC online gaming platform “Steam” and five video games publishers: Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax (“the Publishers”). The Commission published its decision on 20th January […]

The UK/EU Trade & Cooperation Agreement: New rules for trading with EU after 1 January 2021

Introduction The UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) agreed on 24th December 2020 will usher in big changes as to how UK businesses trade with the European Union as from 1st January 2021. After that date, the UK left the EU Single Market and the Customs Union, and the UK and EU formed two distinct regulatory, legal and customs territories. […]

European Commission publishes new wide-ranging rules to regulate digital markets

On 15 December 2020, the European Commission published its much-heralded legislative proposals to regulate digital markets. Although Brexit in theory now allows the UK to implement divergent competition and regulatory proposals the EU proposals mirror to a large extent the UK Government’s recently announced high level plans to regulate major platform providers with the establishment of a platform regulator. Platform […]

UK Supreme Court Opens the Floodgates for Mass Consumer Actions

In a watershed judgment handed down on 11th December 2020 the UK Supreme Court gave the go ahead for a £14 billion collective proceedings damages claim for breach of competition law against card issuer, Mastercard. This will be the largest class action to date in the UK. The central issue was whether it was appropriate for the Courts to certify […]

CMA Publishes Digital Markets Taskforce Advice to UK Government on the Design and Implementation of a New Regime for the Regulation of Digital Markets

On 8 December 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published the advice of the Digital Markets Taskforce (DMT) to the UK Government on the design and implementation of a new pro-competition regime for digital markets. The advice is still fairly high level and as always, the devil is in the detail. This is unlikely to emerge until the Government […]

UK Government Promises Light Touch as it Publishes Draft Questions for National Security and Investment Notifications  

The Government’s draft questions for National Security and Investment Notifications appear to meet their promise of a light touch regime but questions still remain. The UK Government on 11th November 2020 published its long awaited National Security & Investment Bill (“the Bill”) which sets out radical new measures to protect the UK from malicious foreign investment and strengthen the country’s […]

UK Government Gives Green Light to Platforms Regulator

It looks like the UK is set to have a specialist Platforms Regulator! It is interesting to look back at how the tone of the debate has changed on regulating Big Tech. A few years ago regulators were ready to put their faith exclusively on competition law enforcement to restrain market power of Big Tech. Fast forward a couple of […]

EU Commission Clarifies the Application of EU Competition Law to “Pay for Delay” Imposing Substantial Fines on Pharma Companies, Teva and Cephalon

In its latest “pay for delay” decision the EU Commission sends out a very clear signal that the form of the payment received from a patent holder and made to a potential generic entrant does not matter. Unlawful “pay for delay” agreements do not only exist where there is a cash payment. What matters is that value is being transferred […]

Google’s New Privacy Tools Technology Prompts CMA Complaint  

Markets that are tipped can seldom recover even in the face of a determined regulator like the Competition & Markets Authority, UK’s principal competition regulator. That was also the lesson the EU Commission learnt with the Microsoft case over Windows Media player many years ago. However, a coalition of leading technology and publishing companies styled Markets for an Open Web […]

Essential Pharma Offers Commitments to CMA to Ensure Continuity of Supply to NHS of Critical Bipolar Drug

On 12th October we reported that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had launched a competition law investigation into Essential Pharma on the basis that the firm may have abused its dominant position by proposing to withdraw the supply of bipolar drug, Priadel, to UK patients. See link to previous story here: If Priadel was withdrawn, this would require […]