The Archives

Everything written by Dirk Auer on law, economics, and more

In FTC v. Qualcomm, Judge Koh Gets Lost in the Weeds

In his latest book, Tyler Cowen calls big business an “American anti-hero”. Cowen argues that the growing animosity towards successful technology firms is to a large extent unwarranted. After all, these companies have generated tremendous prosperity and jobs. Though it is less known to the public than its Silicon Valley counterparts, Qualcomm perfectly fits the ... In FTC v. Qualcomm, Judge Koh Gets Lost in the Weeds

What Zoom can tell us about network effects and competition policy in digital markets

Zoom, one of Silicon Valley’s lesser-known unicorns, has just gone public. At the time of writing, its shares are trading at about $65.70, placing the company’s value at $16.84 billion. There are good reasons for this success. According to its Form S-1, Zoom’s revenue rose from about $60 million in 2017 to a projected $330 ... What Zoom can tell us about network effects and competition policy in digital markets

Is European Competition Law Protectionist? Unpacking the Commission’s Unflattering Track Record

Last month, the European Commission slapped another fine upon Google for infringing European competition rules (€1.49 billion this time). This brings Google’s contribution to the EU budget to a dizzying total of €8.25 billion (to put this into perspective, the total EU budget for 2019 is €165.8 billion). Given this massive number, and the geographic ... Is European Competition Law Protectionist? Unpacking the Commission’s Unflattering Track Record

The Amazon investigation and Europe’s “Big Tech” Crusade

The dust has barely settled on the European Commission’s record-breaking €4.3 Billion Google Android fine, but already the European Commission is gearing up for its next high-profile case. Last month, Margrethe Vestager dropped a competition bombshell: the European watchdog is looking into the behavior of Amazon. Should the Commission decide to move further with the ... The Amazon investigation and Europe’s “Big Tech” Crusade

The Amazon / Whole Foods overreaction: Antitrust populism exposed

The gist of these arguments is simple. The Amazon / Whole Foods merger would lead to the exclusion of competitors, with Amazon leveraging its swaths of data and pricing below costs. All of this begs a simple question: have these prophecies come to pass? The problem with antitrust populism is not just that it leads to unfounded predictions regarding the negative effects of a given business practice. It also ignores the significant gains which consumers may reap from these practices. The Amazon / Whole foods offers a case in point.

Why the Commission’s Google Android decision harms competition and stifles innovation

Our story begins on the morning of January 9, 2007. Few people knew it at the time, but the world of wireless communications was about to change forever. Steve Jobs walked on stage wearing his usual turtleneck, and proceeded to reveal the iPhone. The rest, as they say, is history. The iPhone moved the wireless ... Why the Commission’s Google Android decision harms competition and stifles innovation