Information Exchanges among Competitors

Antonio CAPOBIANCO, OECD Competition Division, Exchange of Information among Competitors: Antitrust Challenges (Presentation)
Monday December 13, 2010 - 2 pm
Conference Room, Economics Faculty - Trento University
Via Inama, 5 TRENTO

The Second Decade of the International Competition Network: Challenges Ahead?

Oliver BUDZINSKI, University of Southern Denmark, "The Governance of Global Competition:  Challenges for the Second Decade of the ICN"

Alessandra TONAZZI, Italian Competition Authority, "The Governance of Global Competition: ICN’s Next Decade"
Friday November 26, 2010 8:30 am
Trento Economics Faculty, Law Department
Room 3
via Verdi 53
Trento - Italy

ICN 2010 UNILATERAL CONDUCT WORKSHOP: LIVE WEBCAST

Agenda, Webcast.

Certification of a claim as a consumer class action following a bread price fixing cartel in South Africa dismissed

Here.

Senate's Inquiry into the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Franklins decision

Here (from Australian Competition Law)

AG Hamburg zu Urheberrechtsverletzungen durch RSS-Feeds

A. Schneider, hier.

The U.S. International Trade Commission to investigate on alleged smartphone-related patent infringements

Here.

Smart Wars - Um Smartphone-Technologien ist ein regelrechter Patentkrieg entbrannt

F.Müller, hier.

Current Issues in Competition and Consumer Protection Enforcement in the Retail Sector

J.T.Rosch, FTC, here.

ICN Unilateral Conduct Working Group's teleseminar on unilateral conduct in the pharmaceutical industry

Recording of the program and accompanying slide deck.

2010 Merger Guidelines: Empirical Analysis

J.Hausman, here.

Oracle raises price of an entry-level MySQL subscription significantly

Computerworld, here.

Cameron on reviewing IP laws to make them fit for the digital age

From the speech:
"The founders of Google have said they could never have started their company in Britain.
The service they provide depends on taking a snapshot of all the content on the internet at any one time and they feel our copyright system is not as friendly to this sort of innovation as it is in the United States.
Over there, they have what are called ‘fair-use’ provisions, which some people believe gives companies more breathing space to create new products and services.
So I can announce today that we are reviewing our IP laws, to see if we can make them fit for the internet age."
See also the IPO's press release on the scope of the review.

Vince Cable on Competition Policy in the UK

From the Speech given to the Confederation of British Industry - 25 October 2010:

"What business does however need to know to promote growth is that there are clear, consistent rules to govern business behaviour. Which brings me on to competition policy. Competition is one of the great drivers of growth, keeping prices low for consumers, driving innovation, experimentation and investment.
When I used my party conference speech to suggest the need for a more active competition policy, this was interpreted as some kind of modern Marxism. Far from it – this is a defence of capitalism, not an assault.
And the UK’s competition regime is regarded as one of the best in the world – particularly because of its independence and the transparency of decision making. And the EU regime on top of it – including the system of state aid rules that helps to prevent subsidy wars - is one of the Community’s most successful activities.
But there is scope for improvement. In particular, there are difficulties in successfully prosecuting anti-trust cases and a paucity of market investigation cases. I would also like to question whether our current system of sector-specific regulation is ideal, or could we achieve something better through cross sector regulation.
A system that is too slow imposes unacceptable costs on the regulated, and is an insufficient deterrent for would-be abusers of a dominant position. Competition Act cases have taken on average three and a half years between the investigation to a final decision. This is too slow – hardly the “efficient and timely processes” that the CBI has called for.
I also want to ask if we are making enough investigations. Our rate of three or four a year looks odd compared to 15 in France and even more in Germany.
In the New Year, the Government will consult on proposals to deliver more streamlined and consistent processes - including bringing the Competition Commission and the competition functions of the Office of Fair Trading together to form a single competition authority, which I hope will be more proactive in addressing problems."

Is IP Good or Evil? A Vatican's Perspective

Statement by H.E. Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva (from KEI)

Facts and Figures on Copyright Three-Strike Rule in South Korea

Heesob Nam, here.

Network Neutrality: What a Non-Discrimination Rule Should Look Like

Barbara Van Schewick, here.

Un signe qui identifie un site et non une marque n’est pas une contrefaçon

Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris 3ème chambre, 2ème section Jugement du 01 octobre 2010
Place des Tendances / Promod, (Legalis.net)

European Antritrust Deal With Microsoft Barely Affects Browser Market

NYT, here.

Expertenanhörung zum Thema "Netzneutralität - Kapazitätsengpässe, Differenzierung, Netzwerkmanagement"

Bericht.

From "Radical Extremism" to "Balanced Copyright": Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda

Michael Geist, Introduction. From October 14th the book will be available in both paper and as a Creative Commons licenced download.

Kompendium Internetrecht aktualisiert

Prof. Thomas Hoeren, hier.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has authorised Liquor Stax Australia to collectively bargain with a range of wholesale suppliers

Final detemination.

US Department of Transportation Proposes to Approve Antitrust Immunity for U.S.-Japan Aviation Alliances

Here.

Heizstrom – Marktüberblick und Verfahren

Bundeskartellamt, s. Bericht.

Der dritte Korb im Interesse von Bildung und Wissenschaft

NEUREGELUNG DES URHEBERRECHTS: ANLIEGEN UND DESIDERATE FÜR EINEN DRITTEN KORB (Wissenschaftsallianz) und Stellungnahme  des Börsenvereins. Heise online berichtet über ein lebhaftes Fachgespräch der SPD-Bundestagsfraktion insbesondere zum formatgleichen Zweitveröffentlichungsrecht.

Council of Europe: Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on network neutrality

Here.

WIPO's Medium Term Strategic Plan 2010-15

Here.
Concerning the SCCR, strategies include:

               "continuing to support the work of Member States on copyright limitations and exceptions, with a particular focus on improving access for visually impaired and other persons with print disabilities, while accelerating work with respect to access for persons with other disabilities, educational institutions, libraries and archives;

                continuing to support the work of Member States on the protection of audiovisual performances and on the protection of broadcasting organizations;

                exploring the scope for discussion of new issues with important global consequences, such as orphan works or the need for increased cooperation between copyright owners and Internet intermediaries in the making available of legitimate creative content, and encouraging consideration of self-regulatory, as well as formal solutions".

Using Competition Law to Promote Access to Knowledge

Sean Flynn, here.

(American) Football, Copyright, and Innovation

NYT, here.

Copyright law needs a digital-age upgrade

Pamela Samuelson, here, and by the same author et al.  THE COPYRIGHT PRINCIPLES PROJECT: DIRECTIONS FOR REFORM

Derechos de retransmisión de acontecimientos futbolísticos en España

Apertura de un expediente sancionador por posibles prácticas restrictivas de la competencia, por vincular la reventa de derechos de retransmisión de acontecimientos futbolísticos a la contratación de los servicios de producción y transporte de la señal de partidos de fútbol, Comunicado de Prensa.

Competition for High Tech Employees

US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REQUIRES SIX HIGH TECH COMPANIES TO STOP
ENTERING INTO ANTICOMPETITIVE EMPLOYEE
SOLICITATION AGREEMENTS, Press Release.

Koexistenz, keine Konkurrenz: Gedruckte Bücher und E-Books ergänzen sich

Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, hier.

EU Commission's Statement on Apple's iPhone policy changes

Google Suggest : le directeur de la publication condamné pour diffamation

TGI de Paris, 8 septembre 2010, ici

Antitrust in the Digital Age: How Enduring Competition Principles Enforced by the Federal Trade Commission Apply to Today’s Dynamic Marketplace

Richard Feinstein, FTC, here.

Open Source and Merger Policy: Insights from the EU Oracle/Sun Decision

Simonetta Vezzoso (this blog's author), hereInternational Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (IIC), Forthcoming.

Abstract:

In Europe the merger between Oracle and Sun raised a series of substantial competition concerns, especially related to the acquisition by Oracle of MySQL, an open source business, and its impact on the database market. In the end, the acquisition was unconditionally cleared by the Commission. The open source nature of MySQL played a decisive role in the competition assessment of the merger conducted by the European competition authority according to the "significant impediment to effective competition" legal test. In this Article we will review the Commission’s decision with the specific aim of determining to what extent the open source nature of MySQL’s business model actually affected the scrutiny of Sun’s acquisition by Oracle under the relevant test. In particular, it will be questioned whether Oracle’s public announcement concerning its future behaviour on the database and related markets can be expected to duly address the concerns voiced by the Commission in the course of the merger proceedings. We will conclude that Judge Easterbrook’s much quoted conclusion that «[t]he GPL and open-source software have nothing to fear from the antitrust laws» may possibly need some qualification.


Content:

I. Introduction
II. The EU Oracle/Sun Merger Decision
1. The legal background
2. The SIEC test in the context of the Oracle/Sun case
3. The SIEC test and MySQL’s open source nature
III. The competition assessment of open source in the context of merger policy: in search of a
balanced approach
IV. Conclusion

EU Stakeholders Dialogue Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on access to works by people with print disabilities

Here. See also the EU Commission's press release (thanks to Antonella De Robbio for pointing it to me).

UK Joint Merger Assessment Guidelines Released

From the Press Release: "The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Competition Commission (CC) have today for the first time published joint Merger Assessment Guidelines (...) The publication revises and expands guidance previously contained in several publications issued separately by the two Authorities after the introduction of the Enterprise Act 2002".

When Do Generics Challenge Drug Patents?

C. Scott Hemphill and Bhaven N. Sampat, here.

Competition in the Evolving Digital Marketplace

US House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts and Competition PolicyThursday 9/16/2010.


Written testimonies:
Richard Feinstein (Federal Trade Commission), here.
Geoffrey A. Manne (LEWIS & CLARK LAW SCHOOL),  here
Edward J. Black (Computer and Communications Industry Association), here.
Mark Cooper (Consumer Federation of America), here
Morgan Reed (Association for Competitive Technology), here
Scott Cleland (Precursor LLC), here.

ACTA's draft agreement (reflecting August 2010 changes)

From KEI, here.

Antitrust Formalism is Dead! Long Live Antitrust Formalism!: Some Implications of American Needle v. NFL

Judd E. Stone II, Joshua D. Wright, here.

WIPO Seminar Series on “The Economics of Intellectual Property”: Hal Varian (Google) on Copyright and Transaction Costs

Program, Geneva, September 14, 2010. Presentation and Video of the Seminar.

Thwack!! Take That, User-Generated Content!: Marvel Enterprises v. NCSoft

Carl Michael Szabo, here.

Revenue Streams and Safe Harbors: How Water Law Suggests a Solution to Copyright's Orphan Works Problem

Joel Sage, here.

A Peek Behind the Curtain of the Texas Antitrust Complaints against Google

Groklaw, here.

Rachat par la coopérative agricole Sodiaal du groupe Entremont autorisé

D'après le Communiqué "Avec l'acquisition du groupe Entremont, Sodiaal deviendra le numéro 2 sur le marché de la collecte de lait en France, derrière le groupe Lactalis. Les fournisseurs auxquels cette coopérative fera face sur ce marché seront cependant ses propres adhérents et l'Autorité a rappelé que ce contexte assurait un équilibre des relations entre vendeurs et acheteur, les éleveurs bénéficiant de leur position de sociétaires et de la sécurisation de leurs débouchés."

Post Oracle-Sun Merger: OpenSolaris' fate revealed (and what about Oracle's public announcement)?

Here.
From the Oracle-Sun merger decision, para 182:
"Although, with the exception of points 1, 2 and 3 (see below paragraph 184), Oracle's
public announcement is not legally binding on Oracle, the Commission considers that
the strong specificities of open source software and the vibrant ecosystem surrounding
MySQL provide for a self-enforcing mechanism ensuring that Oracle would not have
the ability and incentives to deviate from its announced future conduct. Reputation and
trust is of utmost importance for the sponsor of an open source project which depends
on contributions by a large ecosystem of users, developers and customers. After the
merger Oracle will become the sponsor of a number of significant open source projects
of Sun, including Java, MySQL and OpenSolaris, and will as such need to gain and
retain the trust from the open source community. In this respect, it can be expected that
all of the public pledges made by Oracle to reassure MySQL users, developers and
storage engine vendors will be subject to close scrutiny from the open source
community."
Was the EU Commission somehow slightly too optimistic?

Technology and competition, Contributions in honour of Hanns Ullrich

Technology and competition - Technologie et concurrence. Contributions in honour of / Mélanges en l'honneur de Hanns Ullrich - Laurence Boy, Reto M. Hilty, Josef Drexl, Christine Godt, , Bernard Remiche, Editeur : Larcier, ISBN : 978-2-8044-3521-9, 746 pages

My book review (to be published in Revue Internationale de Droit Economique, 2010/2). 

"On ne doute pas que les lecteurs découvriront avec beaucoup de plaisir et d’intérêt le liber amicorum Technology and Competition – Technologie et concurrence, dédié avec admiration et affection à Hanns Ullrich, rédacteur en chef de cette revue,  Professeur au Collège d’Europe, Professeur émérite à l’Université de Munich et à l’Institut Européen de Florence, par des amis, des collègues et des anciens élèves à l’occasion de son 70ème anniversaire. Apparu sous la direction de Josef Drexl, Reto M. Hilty, Laurence Boy, Christine Godt et Bernard Remiche, cet ouvrage riche et passionnant rend un hommage sincère à cet éminent juriste au rayonnement européen et plus vaste encore.
Au cœur de la réflexion scientifique de Hanns Ullrich figurent la promotion du progrès technologique et la sauvegarde de la libre concurrence, deux enjeux juridiques et économiques majeurs annoncés par le titre même des Mélanges qui viennent de lui être offerts. Généralement, c’est le système de propriété intellectuelle, et plus particulièrement de propriété industrielle, qui est censé promouvoir le progrès technologique. La tâche de protéger le jeux de la concurrence dans toutes ces dimensions revient en revanche au droit de la concurrence. Toutefois, comme l’a rappelé dernièrement Hanns Ullrich dans les pages de cette revue, les deux corps de droit sont loin d’être parfaitement indépendants l’un de l’autre. Bien au contraire, l’octroi de droits exclusifs de propriété intellectuelle se doit d’être reconnu et éclairé avant tout par son intégration dans l’ordre concurrentiel de marché.  Il n’est donc pas surprenant que le droit de la concurrence soit régulièrement appelé au secours, dans le but de corriger une insuffisance éventuelle du fonctionnement du système de protection de la propriété intellectuelle, surtout de « surprotection » allégée. Cependant c’est avant tout en formulant des limites intrinsèques à la protection qui soient efficaces et appropriés que le système de propriété intellectuelle est censé assurer sa fonctionnalité et songer à son acceptation.
De toute évidence, la tâche qui revient au droit de la propriété intellectuelle n’est pas facile à accomplir, comme en témoignent plusieurs des contributions rassemblées dans la première partie de l’ouvrage, intitulée «Trop de protection de la propriété intellectuelle?».  Pour ce qui est par exemple du droit des brevets, face à un élargissement excessif de la définition d’invention brevetable, on aurait délaissé l’intérêt général au maintien du domaine public du savoir, c'est-à-dire de la source principale de nouvelles connaissances protégeables et non protégeables. Il en serait pas moins inquiétant pour les critères d’exception à la protection, trop souvent conçus d’une façon insuffisante et interprétés trop rigidement  pour pouvoir offrir un remède efficace aux risques de « surprotection ». Par ailleurs, ainsi que la jurisprudence communautaire en matière de droit des marques l’a maintes fois accompli en s’appuyant sur le concept de « concurrence non faussée », dans plusieurs cas il suffirait probablement d’interpréter et d’appliquer le droit de la propriété intellectuelle dans une véritable perspective de libre concurrence. Mais il est aussi indéniable que depuis quelques années, comme soulignent  plusieurs contributions, les technologies et de leurs besoins de protection changent plus rapidement que dans le passé et qu’il y a eu une transformation non négligeable des modes d’exploitation des droits de la propriété intellectuelles, il suffit de penser à la commercialisation de l’invention en tant que telle et à la exploitation sous forme immatérielle des œuvres protégés, par exemple les programmes d’ordinateurs. En outre, des nouveaux modèles économiques d’innovation ont émergé, voir par exemple le mouvement open source dans l’industrie de l’informatique. Par conséquent, le législateur pourrait être appelé à corriger les déficits systématiques de protection par modification de la réglementation-cadre avec plus de fréquence, mais aussi peut-être moins d’assurance, qu’auparavant.
Les contributions de la deuxième partie, intitulée « Protéger la concurrence », s’accordent pour souligner que le droit de la concurrence non plus n’est épargné par profondes mutations et tensions. D’une part, on assiste à une convergence assez poussée entre régimes nationaux de concurrence au sein de la Communauté Européenne, même si des différences, parfois « regrettables », résistent, par exemple le maintien, si