While barriers to close down national boundaries are being raised again worldwide, EU institutions keep fighting unjustified geo-blocking and online cross-border stops to trade. Regulation No. 2018/302 (“Geo-blocking Regulation”) bans unjustified geo-blocking and other forms of territorial discrimination that prevent consumers from freely buying on online platforms. The Regulation was adopted on February 28, 2018 and entered…

On January 24, 2017, the European Commission announced that it had fined Qualcomm EUR 997,439,000. The Commission thinks that Qualcomm had abused its dominant position to become Apple’s sole supplier of long term evolution (“LTE“) baseband chipsets. The abuse was allegedly committed through exclusive deals, which lasted from 2011 to 2016. Baseband chipsets are key components in smartphones and tablets, which enable connection…

Ever since the European Court of Justice brought the rule-making activity of sports federations within the scope of EU law, the European competition rules have emerged as a unique instrument to assert control over sports’ transnational private regulatory power. Other than in the area of revenue-generating activities related to sports (e.g. ticket sales arrangements or…

On Saint Nicholas’ birthday 2017 (6 December), the Court of Justice (the Court) held that selective distribution agreements, which prevent authorised distributors from using unauthorised third-party (online) platforms to sell luxury goods can in principle be compatible with Article 101(1) of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU); the prohibition on anti-competitive…

Since 2013, the European Commission has taken an increasing interest in Member States’ practices of granting tax benefits to mainly multinational undertakings by means of individual tax rulings or specifically tailored tax agreements. In this respect, the Commission in October 2015 found that the Netherlands has given unlawful aid to Starbucks and Luxemburg to Fiat…

While the symposium on Application of Competition Policy to Technology and IP Licensing hosted by the Center for Transnational Law and Business at the USC Gould School of Law on 10 November 2017 was, for many reasons, worthy of a suite of scholarly articles (I particularly look forward to Professor Jonathan Barnett’s upcoming article in…

On September 14, 2017, the EU Court of Justice issued a preliminary ruling in Case C-177/16, Akka-Laa, on excessive pricing in the collective management of copyright licences. In 2013, the Latvian Competition Council fined Akka-Laa for abusing its dominance by imposing too high rates for its services. Akka-Laa is a copyright management organization. It enjoyed a…