The Archives

Everything written by Lazar Radic on law, economics, and more

Whose Failure Is the Failed Amazon/iRobot Merger?

The European Commission told Amazon in November 2023 of its preliminary view that the company’s proposed acquisition of iRobot restricted competition in the market for robot vacuum cleaners (RVCs) and could hamper rival RVC suppliers’ ability to compete effectively. The deal, the Commission asserted, would give Amazon incentive to foreclose iRobot’s competitors by engaging in ... Whose Failure Is the Failed Amazon/iRobot Merger?

Four Problems with the Supreme Court’s Refusal To Hear the Epic v Apple Dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court this week rejected both parties’ petitions for certiorari in appeals of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ Epic Games v Apple decision. Many observers—including Epic CEO Tim Sweeney—have marked this as an unmitigated loss for Epic.  That’s partly right. The district court had correctly rejected Epic’s federal antitrust claims against ... Four Problems with the Supreme Court’s Refusal To Hear the Epic v Apple Dispute

Gatekeeping, the DMA, and the Future of Competition Regulation

The European Commission late last month published the full list of its “gatekeeper” designations under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft—the six designated gatekeepers—now have six months to comply with the DMA’s list of obligations and restrictions with respect to their core platform services (CPS), or they stand to ... Gatekeeping, the DMA, and the Future of Competition Regulation

When Progress Is Regressive: The Ordo-Brandeisian Devolution

It is no coincidence that ordoliberalism—the European (originally German) alternative to classical liberalism that emphasized the importance of the “social market” economy—and the New Brandeis or “neo-Brandeisian” movement, which harkens back to the Progressive Era thought of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, both are enjoying comebacks simultaneously. The effects of these ideological ... When Progress Is Regressive: The Ordo-Brandeisian Devolution

South Africa’s Competition Proposal Takes Europe’s DMA Model to the Extreme

The South African Competition Commission (SACC) has proposed changes to the nation’s digital-market regulation that could deal a significant blow to an already struggling South African economy. Ostensibly intended to protect online competition, the SACC’s plan to reshape the business models of “online intermediation platforms” like Google and Booking.com would entail a radical departure from traditional competition regulation. This ... South Africa’s Competition Proposal Takes Europe’s DMA Model to the Extreme

The FTC’s Gambit Against Amazon: Navigating a Multiverse of Blowback and Consumer Harm

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly poised some time within the next month to file a major antitrust lawsuit against Amazon—the biggest yet against the company and the latest in a long string of cases targeting U.S. tech firms (see, for example, here and here). While specific details of the suit remain largely unknown ... The FTC’s Gambit Against Amazon: Navigating a Multiverse of Blowback and Consumer Harm

Enforcing the DMA is Easier Said Than Done: Evidence From the Commission’s Draft Template for DMA Compliance Reports

The European Commission early last month published its draft template for DMA-compliance reports. This is the document that gatekeepers will periodically need to fill out, and which subsequently will be used to determine whether they comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA).  The draft template is a missed opportunity to clarify some of ... Enforcing the DMA is Easier Said Than Done: Evidence From the Commission’s Draft Template for DMA Compliance Reports

Untangling the 9th Circuit’s Ruling in Epic Games v Apple

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled late last month on Epic Games’ appeal of the decision rendered in 2021 by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Epic Games v Apple, affirming in part and reversing in part the district court’s judgment. In the original case, Epic had challenged as a violation ... Untangling the 9th Circuit’s Ruling in Epic Games v Apple

Digital-Market Regulation: One Size Does Not Fit All

Regulators around the globe are scrambling for a silver bullet to “tame” tech companies. Whether it’s the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, or Canada, the animating rationale behind such efforts is that firms like Google, Apple, Meta, and Amazon (GAMA) engage in undesirable market conduct that falls beyond the narrow purview of antitrust law (here and here). To tackle these supposed ... Digital-Market Regulation: One Size Does Not Fit All

Reining in Digital Competition to No Good End: Will AICOA and OAMA Rise from the Grave?

The 117th Congress closed out without a floor vote on either of the major pieces of antitrust legislation introduced in both chambers: the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) and the Open Apps Market Act (OAMA). But it was evident at yesterday’s hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee that at least some ... Reining in Digital Competition to No Good End: Will AICOA and OAMA Rise from the Grave?

Fixing the Procedural Infirmities in the DMA’s Draft Implementing Regulation

Just before Christmas, the European Commission published a draft implementing regulation (DIR) of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), establishing procedural rules that, in the Commission’s own words, seek to bolster “legal certainty,” “due process,” and “effectiveness” under the DMA. The rights of defense laid down in the draft are, alas, anemic. In the long run, ... Fixing the Procedural Infirmities in the DMA’s Draft Implementing Regulation

Your Definitive End-of-Year Global Tech Regulation Wrap-Up: Who’s Doing What, Where, and What to Make of It

As 2023 draws to a close, we wanted to reflect on a year that saw jurisdictions around the world proposing, debating, and (occasionally) enacting digital regulations. Some of these initiatives amended existing ex-post competition laws. Others were more ambitious, contemplating entirely new regulatory regimes from the ground up. With everything going on, it can be ... Your Definitive End-of-Year Global Tech Regulation Wrap-Up: Who’s Doing What, Where, and What to Make of It