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Blog o’ Blogs December

 |  December 8, 2015
December 2015, Volume 5, Number 12
This month’s theme is the global reach of antitrust, with developments from the usual suspects but also from Africa, India, and Australia. And happy holidays everyone!
Antitrust Cops Flex Muscles
But the resurgence of antitrust is nevertheless odd at a time when the lines dividing markets are breaking down, and competition is coming from unexpected directions.
Alan Murray (Forbes)
EU Antitrust Compliance and Third Parties: How Can You Minimise the Risks?

Is it going too far to extend the responsibility companies have for the behaviour of their employees to commercially-linked third parties?

Rachel Cuff (AntitrustConnect Blog)

The rule of law and legal certainty in EU competition fines
The basic problem is that fines are undetermined and–what is worse– purposefully undeterminable with the excuse that otherwise undertakings would “factor them in” and deterrence would not be obtained. 
Luis Ortiz Blanco (Chillin’Competition)
Bring Back Antitrust
But perhaps the biggest reason is that antitrust policy has become divorced from politics, confined to specialized lawyers and mathematicians instead of citizens and activists. 
David Dayen (American Prospect)
Standalone claims in the CAT: bypassing the transitional rules

It is somewhat clunky for claimants to have to issue in the High Court (and incur fees there) only to then transfer to the CAT, but it is better than nothing.

Tristan Jones (Competition Bulletin)

Ignoring Decision Theory, the European Commission Continues to Waste Competition Enforcement Resources on Investigations of (Almost Certainly) Efficient Conduct
Companies like Qualcomm, after being suitably chastised, may well “take the cue” and decide to avoid future trouble by “playing nice” and avoiding innovative discounting, to the detriment of future consumers and industry efficiency.
Alden Abbott (Truth on the Market)
Regulating platforms? A competition law perspective
The question many are asking is whether competition law is sufficient to address the challenges raised by platforms or whether we need a new framework; does competition law need to adapt?
Alfonso Lamadrid (Chillin’Competition)
The EU Commission Launches Far-Reaching Consultation on National Authorities’ Antitrust Enforcement Powers
The Commission’s more specific questions fall into four areas:  NCAs’ resources and independence; NCAs’ “enforcement toolbox”; NCAs’ powers to impose fines; and leniency programs.
Jay Modrall (Kluwer Competition Law Blog)
Competition sparks improvements in local electricity markets
The challenge for policymakers is how to adjust existing rules and rates to encourage efficient investment in new power sources – production facilities that could compete with the utility’s own generation, transmission, and distribution assets and could reduce demand for transmission and distribution services.
John Seesel (FTC’s Communication Matters)
The SMARTER Act and Its Impact on Federal Merger Enforcement

Federal lawmakers are currently considering legislation that would eliminate differences in the procedures used by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division in challenging unconsummated acquisitions and mergers.  

Jeffrey May (AntitrustConnect Blog)

Small business can’t afford to overlook the little things in the Harper Review
An effects test was just one of 56 recommendations made by the Harper Panel, spanning institutional arrangements, deregulation, specific industries, intellectual property and Australia’s competition laws.
Alexandra Merrett (The Conversation)
EconAfrica: African Corporate Debt—Reality, Regulation and Risks
The ever greater integration in the various regions means that there may well be prospects for making better use of private regional funds and of sovereign funds.
Peter O’Brien (African Antitrust and Competition Law)
Guest Post by Avinash Amarnath on CCI (India) Price-Fixing Decision
The Competition Commission of India is struggling to find consistency around whether parallel conduct can form the basis for finding an agreement.
Avinash Amarnath (CartelCapers)
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