On September 12, Andrew Finch, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust in the U.S. Department of Justice, confirmed the Trump Administration’s commitment to the criminalization of agreements among companies not to “poach” each other’s employees and agreements on employees’ wages, policies advanced significantly during the Obama Administration.
Steptoe partners Jonathan B. Sallet, Anthony J. LaRocca & Yves Botteman authored an article titled “Turning The Corner: The Internet Of (Moving) Things” for Competition Policy International. The article explores the intersection between the development of the Internet of Things and competition law, both from a US and a EU perspective. The article is available here.
The European Court of Justice (CoJ) just came back to business with a bang. On September 6, 2017, it delivered its long-awaited judgment in the Intel case. The CoJ refers the case back to the General Court (GC), with the instruction to review the economic arguments put forward by Intel in its defense against the European Commission’s (Commission) findings that its exclusivity rebates were anticompetitive.
The Intel judgment is significant insofar as it marks a major departure with previous case-law, which considered that exclusivity rebates are, by their very nature, anticompetitive. From now on, all rebates, whether exclusive or loyalty-enhancing, must be examined in light of all of the relevant circumstances, including their economic effects. In that respect, it must be ascertained whether the rebates are capable of excluding an as efficient competitor as the dominant company.
Arguably, this new approach is a – probably small – opening for dominant businesses willing to offer exclusivity rebates: under certain circumstances, such rebates might well withstand close antitrust scrutiny.
Click here to read our detailed briefing on the judgment.
As part of its “aggressive agenda” of enforcement and outreach regarding the professional licensing systems that regulate an FTC-estimated 25%-30% of jobs nationally, the Economic Liberty Task Force held a public roundtable on July 27 in Washington, DC. The Task Force, which was launched by Maureen K. Ohlhausen shortly after she took over as Acting Chairman early this year, was created—in part—to identify unnecessary and overbroad occupational licensing and prioritize the roll back of such regulations.
The Steptoe EU Competition team is pleased to invite you to the webinar “Staying Clear of Online Pricing Pitfalls” on September 20, which will provide practical insights on the antitrust pitfalls and risks raised by price restraints imposed on online distributors, including resale price maintenance and minimum advertised prices. To register, please click here.
This webinar is the third in a series of webinars focused on the distribution of goods and services in Europe. Our first event in May was dedicated to achieving a successful product launch, whilst the second one in June provided an update on online resale restrictions and what suppliers may do with their distributors to protect their brands in the online space.
We hope that you will enjoy the webinar and look forward to hearing from you!
On September 15, Steptoe and Japanese law firm Iwata Godo will conduct a joint antitrust seminar in Tokyo addressing the international management of antitrust risks for Japanese companies.
The speakers (Ken Ewing, Pat Linehan and Jean-Nicolas Maillard from Steptoe and Akira Matsuda and Takaki Sato from Iwata Godo) will provide to the audience an overview of recent enforcement trends in the US, the EU and Japan, with a specific focus on international civil and criminal antitrust litigation strategies.
If you would like to participate in this seminar, we invite you to register through the link in the invitation here.