The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently submitted comments to the US Copyright Office as part of the Office’s notice of inquiry examining copyright issues related to artificial intelligence.

The agency’s comments largely focused on two areas: potential threats to competition from AI, and copyright.

Competition: The FTC cautioned that “the rapid development and deployment of AI also poses potential risks to competition” for several reasons:

  • “The rising importance of AI to the economy may further lock in the market dominance of large incumbent technology firms. These powerful, vertically integrated incumbents control many of the inputs necessary for the effective development and deployment of AI tools, including cloud-based or local computing power and access to large stores of training data. These dominant technology companies may have the incentive to use their control over these inputs to unlawfully entrench their market positions in AI and related markets, including digital content markets.”
  • “AI tools can be used to facilitate collusive behavior that unfairly inflates prices, precisely target price discrimination, or otherwise manipulate outputs.”
  • “Many large technology firms possess vast financial resources that enable them to indemnify the users of their generative AI tools or obtain exclusive licenses to copyrighted (or otherwise proprietary) training data, potentially further entrenching the market power of these dominant firms.”

Continue Reading The Federal Trade Commission Weighs In on AI and Copyright

On 1 July 2023 the revised Research & Development Block Exemption Regulation and Specialization Block Exemption Regulation, alongside the revised Guidelines on the applicability of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to cooperation agreements between competitors (Horizontal Guidelines) enter into force. The new rules introduce some significant changes (including

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On January 17

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Continue Reading The CMA Investigation into EV Chargepoint Operators and Net Zero

Since launching its review programme in September 2019, the Commission has been working to update its Horizontal Guidelines and two sets of block exemptions, R&D and Specialisation, both of which are due to expire on December 31, 2022. The Commission consulted widely (to which we contributed) and has just published proposed drafts of each in a final round of consultations, which will expire on April 26, 2022. Alongside this programme, the Commission is also updating the Verticals Block Exemption and the Market Definition Guidelines, for which further drafts are expected in the coming months.
Continue Reading Commission Moves Closer to Finalizing New Horizontal Guidelines and R&D and Specialization Block Exemptions

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Last month, we held a webinar to discuss the modernisation of the EU’s distribution block exemption (the ‘VBER’) and of the UK’s own approach to this: the ‘VBEO’).   Economic principles increasingly need to be woven into the commercial application of the competition rules by businesses and we were pleased to have with us Dr Claudio Calcagno, Director at GMT Economics.  For those who were not able to participate in the webinar, here is a link to the recording.  We compared the EU approach with the expected UK approach and discussed a number of key developments.  Highlights from the webinar include:
Continue Reading Webinar Recap – Vertical Agreements in the EU and UK: How to Navigate the New Competition Law Landscape