On the limits of patent protection

Patent on diagnostic testing for genetic susceptibility to the most common hereditary forms of breast and ovarian cancer held invalid.

Economic value and fair use

Economic Contribution of Industries Relying on Fair Use, Computer & Communications Industry Association

Die Monopolkommission über Entflechtungsmassnahmen

Gestaltungsoptionen und Leistungsgrenzen einer kartellrechtlichen Unternehmensentflechtung, Sondergutachten der Monopolkommission gemäß § 44 Abs. 1 Satz 4 GWB

FTC on ICN 2010


EU consultation on cultural and creative industries

Consultation: GREEN PAPER on "Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries"

Live from the ICN Conference 2010 (a very personal perspective) - Day One

Some introductory remarks going on... The documents available sofar are worth reading (see also the program)

Almunia speaking:
- Turkey a fantastic country (I totally agree, sadly not part of the EU)
- Crisis, we have to be even more determined
- competition on the merits
- less efficient firms should leave the market, even more so given the current times
- markets should remain open, mergers not to be used as a protectionist tool
- convergency important (stressed as a key message)
- global convergence in legal and economic analysis
- Commission's role (also) of bringing cases useful for many countries
- cross border trade important
- specificities still exist but common principles should be established
- unilateral conduct, role of the ICN
-- share experiences
-- Announcement: ICN discussing this topic in Brussels soon
- each legal system can deliver good results
- merger control has been facilitated
- transparency of decisions important
- reasoned decisions - consistency, predicatbility
- ICN a success story (105 agencies)
- future?
- Almunia's ideas:
-- advocacy worldwide, especially in crisis
-- projects important, if focused
-- convergence worldwide: Best Practices should be developed further
-- help to new agencies
-- full representation of competition authorities should be achieved (some not ICN's members)

Agency Effectiveness Working Group:
Olavo Chinaglia, Commissioner, Brazil Council for Economic Defense
- earlier: gathering info in order to share
-- manage human resources, etc.
- now: extract general, abstract guidelines (second phase)
- handbook prepared
-- tool to help agencies in their internal work
-next: guidelines have been put into effect?
- but the two phases (collect/assess) connected
-- not stopping gathering info
- next year
-- work on second chapter (presented today)
-- third chapter's draft (on knowledge management)

Advocacy Working Group:
Ed Smith, Director of International, U.K. Office of Fair Trading
- two projects
-- sharing experience (5 seminars, reports available on ICN website)
-- market studies
--- select
--- stakeholders' role
--- manage projects
- feedback
- teleseminars should go on
- update of available toolkits
- across the board (?)
- need to change something? Later we'll know more...
Cartel Working Group: Jozsef Sarai, Section Head, Hungarian Competition Authority
- essential conclusions
-- criminal sanctions the most effective tool
--- incentive for leniency

Merger Working Group:
J. Robert Kramer II, Director of Operations and Civil Enforcement, U.S.
Department of Justice, Antitrust Division
- working on recommended practices going on
-- East-West: inspiration for the working groups
--- new way of working developed
-- market definition and comments accompanying them
--- only a tool (referred to market definition), possibly not decisive
- hypothetical monopolist test incomporated
- ways to implement RP
- supply side substitution (where to put it?)
- Failing Firm
-- carefully assess counterfactual (what would happen if?)
-- links to/role of the parent company?

Unilateral Conduct Working Group:
Markus Lange, Head, International Section, German Bundeskartellamt
- understand/promote convergence
- analysis of refusal to deal
-- questionnaire distributed
-- good cooperation
-- rtd: not specifically defined
-- not only outright, also constructive (unreasonable terms)
-- margin squeeze: topical subject
-- 150 cases about it
--- 300 ms not assessed
-- general rule: freedom to contract
--then, when to intervene (answer tomorrow)?
- need of exchange among agencies felt
- divergencies, but those can still be discussed on substantial terms (ICN's plus point)
- future work
-- new workgroup on unilateral conduct
-- remedies
-- divergencies not to be underestimated
- implementation of past work
- NGA's involvement

Kazuhiko Takeshima, ICN Vice Chair of Advocacy and
- report of last year's very intensive work
- more coordination and work in the future
-- needs assessment
-- structure

Mexican Federal Competition Commission

- database of regional networks
- technical assistance
-- template package
-- regulatory barriers (World Bank)
- UNCTAD: translations, participation
- APEC (?)

William Kovacic, ICN Vice Chair of Outreach
- technology
-- blog
--- coverage of activities
--- visitorship increased
---- more intensive use
--- more than 70 countries
--- use should be intensified!
- Outreach toolkit
-- slides on ICN's mission and objectives
-- more detailed revue of workgroups' outcome
-- Studies
--- academics about other networks' experiences (learning)
- Ahead
-- narrative
-- more NGAs' involvement (research centres involved)
-- convergence on good practices
-- dissemination
- ICN University
-- webbased approach
-- common vocabulary
---- not homogeneity
-- demonstration (movie: audio not working)
--- very funny remarks
- presentation on their activities in the field of competition

Panel: Ahead?
- more "discipline" in choosing projects
- OECD's strength
-- members' experience
-- secretariat's good work
--- regional centres' involvement
-- policies in perspective: material already collected the org. can refer to
-- interdisciplinarity (studies on innovation etc.)
--- complementarities with other policies

ICN's strength vis à vis OECD
- complementarities
-- but: how to invest?
- content, peer reviews
-- more practically oriented,
-- perhaps different distribution network
-- different audiences (case level for the ICN)
-- org output's assessment
- possible tensions
-- how to allocate limited resources
- ICN: possibly more "bounding" of its members
- ICN's technical assistance good, possibly even better if coordinated with different orgs (such as OECD)

How to work closer together (ICN-OECD)?
- better transmission of info
-- liason "slightly more formal"
--- what's going on?
-- channels of distribution
- OECD's competition commission
-- somebody in charge of summing up what ICN does
-- outreach/technical assistance, difficult to be more informed (also because ICN doesn't have a Secretariat)
-- more joint events
--- at the content's level
-- pedagogical material
--- repackaging of OECD's material
--- cooperation with the coming ICN's university

Planning for the ICN’s Second Decade: Setting the Stage for Breakout Sessions, Plenary
- Vision, direction, implementation
- Achievements (useful for the future: but how do we measure them?)
-- efforts/contents/infrastructure/backbone for multilateral and bilateral discussions-negotiations among agencies
-- common work on advocacy, important in recession, based on experience (e.g. Japan)
- Respectful understanding of divergencies
-- taking care of economic conditions

Difficul things ahead?
Focus on the Working Groups
ICN's critical factors
- focus on competition
- vertical structure
- stakeholders' and agencies involvement
- structure of the working groups

- Implementation
-- Barriers to better use?
-- communication/education
-- workshops

- Agency Effectiveness
-- quality control
- Inclusiveness
-- more diversed geographically

Advocate General MAZÁK on Margin Squeeze

OPINION delivered on 22 April 2010 (1) Case C‑280/08 P

Deutsche Telekom AG, European Commission

Zusammenschluss der Telekommunikationsunternehmen France Télécom SA (Orange) und Sunrise Communications AG: Untersagt

Die schweizerische Wettbewerbskommission (WEKO) untersagt den Zusammenschluss der Telekommunikationsunternehmen France Télécom SA (Orange) und Sunrise Communications AG. Here ist die Verfügung.

Kartellrecht im Einkauf: Preisbildung zwischen Hersteller und Handel

Vorläufige Bewertung” des Bundeskartellamtes

ACTA Draft Released


9th Annual ICN Conference: Live broadcast over internet

The live broadcast will be limited to the Plenary Sessions, though.

UK Ofcom closes its consultations on pay TV market

Decisions taken under section 316 of the Communications Act. Premier League to challenge Ofcom's ruling

Patents and Standards

IP Watch on China’s Latest Draft Disposal Rules For Patents In Standards

Digital Economy Bill passed

See the text.

Algorithms and competition

M. Vestager, here . Large friendly letters? "It's true that the idea of automated systems getting together and reaching a...