Thursday, 25 April 2013

European Commission on the trail

For anyone interested in the field of competition law, there are two new updates on antitrust proceedings started by the European Commission outcomes of which may directly influence EU consumers. 

On the one hand, the EU asked for explanations and commitments of Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Hachette, Holtzbrinck and Appel as far as their joint practice of switching from selling e-books through a wholesale model to agency contracts containing the same key terms is concerned. Since the second, newly introduced model allows publishers more control over retail prices the Commission feared that consumers may be facing increase thereof. (Commission market tests commitments proposed by Penguin for the sale of e-books)

The other procedure is against Google in relation to online search and search advertising and a possibility of Google abusing its dominant position in this area (more on that: here). Google addressed main four competition concerns of the Commission (practices leading to reduced choice for consumers in online world) and offered certain commitments, but the Commission would like to receive some more clarity about them. (Commission seeks feedback on commitments offered by Google to address competition concerns) It remains to be seen whether and how both of these procedures progress. (see also our previous post: Investigation into Google...)

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