• 15 May 2019
    The US should create a new specialist "Digital Authority" to better regulate digital platform markets such as Facebook and Google, a study commissioned by the University of Chicago’s business school released today proposed.

    The proposal, the result of two years of study by Chicago’s Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State, is the latest suggestion for how to reconfigure antitrust to better address the digital economy. It builds off of the recommendations in the UK’s Furman report, the EU’s study on digital platforms, both released earlier this year.

    The 100-page report proposes several changes to current US antitrust laws, including that mergers between dominant firms and potential rivals be presumed unlawful subject to rebuttal. It also suggests creating a specialist regulator for digital platforms that would apply different rules to companies with “bottleneck power,” defined as situations where consumers primarily rely on a single provider making it difficult for other providers to gain access. The Digital Authority could be charged with overseeing interoperability or nondiscrimination rules and separately consider mergers that involve digital platforms.

    By Leah Nylen.

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  • 15 May 2019
    It's increasingly a "blind game" for companies that want cooperation credit, a former top prosecutor said regarding a recent decision that sharply criticized prosecutors for outsourcing to Deutsche Bank an investigation into Libor manipulation.

    A decision released this month creates more uncertainty for companies that want to cooperate with government probes, Robert Khuzami, the former deputy US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said today at an event.

    "It creates a little more uncertainty in the process," Khuzami said, "It's a little bit more of a blind game now if the government's going to be in the business of focusing your efforts."

    By Richard Vanderford.

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  • 13 May 2019
    Merck KGaA has filed its plan to acquire US semiconductor products maker Versum Materials for approval in Austria and Germany.

    The German science and technology company notified the buyout to the Austrian Competition Authority on May 10, according to an update on the regulator’s online register of deals today.

    The national authority has until June 7 to rule on the takeover, the update said.

    By Andrew Boyce.

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  • 08 April 2019
    Apple, Amazon and other deep-pocketed tech companies could invigorate the lending market, throwing a financial lifeline to those locked out from conventional finance, a recent study published by global banking regulators has suggested.

    But researchers at the Bank for International Settlements say in a new study that they need more time to tell whether or not the use of online lending based on artificial intelligence could transform the credit market.

    The study plays into an emerging debate as regulators across the world scratch their heads over what the emergence of Big Tech means for banking competition and regulation.

    By Jack Schickler.

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  • 05 April 2019
    The EU and China are still wrangling over a draft joint communiqué for their annual bilateral summit next Tuesday as Beijing pushes back on key demands from Brussels.

    Talks will continue over the weekend, but prospects for a breakthrough are bleak due to China’s reluctance to sign off on the “ambitious” proposals for the statement, according to senior EU officials.

    An early EU draft had included a long list of trade and investment commitments. It asked Beijing to take several steps this year to open up its economy to European companies by lowering market-access barriers and dropping discriminatory requirements for foreign investors such as forced technology transfers.

    By Joanna Sopinska.

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