• Facebook abuses market power with data collection from multiple sites, Germany says
    07 February 2019
    Facebook has abused its market power by making the use of its social network conditional on the collection of user data from multiple sources, the German competition authority said today.

    While Facebook won’t have to pay a fine, it will have to change the way it collects data from users in Germany. The authority said that Facebook can only use data from other sources if it has users' "voluntary consent."

    If consent is not given, "Facebook will have to substantially restrict its collection and combining of data," the authority said. Facebook was ordered to develop plans to make this possible.

    By Matthew Newman.

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  • Qualcomm licensing chief defends practices as FTC antitrust trial continues
    26 January 2019
    The president of Qualcomm’s patent-licensing business testified today that the company never threatened to cut off the supply of modem chips to smartphone makers, even those that stopped paying royalties to the chipmaker.

    As Qualcomm’s trial defense against antitrust claims by the Federal Trade Commission continued into the ninth day of the trial, Alex Rogers, the president of Qualcomm Technology Licensing, or QTL, also defended QTL’s long-running practice of licensing its patents based on the value of a full device, rather than charging rates as a percentage of specific components covered by the company’s patents.

    Rogers testified Qualcomm’s policy allows phonemakers to access technology that would otherwise be restricted, by allowing it to be easily incorporated into technology standards. “Basically, everybody in the industry has access to that,” Rogers said during testimony in San Jose, California. Qualcomm also presented video depositions from executives at Ericsson and InterDigital confirming those companies also license at the device level, not the component level.

    By Mike Swift.

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  • Apple's suit against South Korean antitrust regulator sent to Supreme Court
    08 January 2019
    Apple Korea’s lawsuit against South Korea’s antitrust regulator over its alleged failure to reveal information related to an investigation into abuse of market dominance against the US smartphone maker has been sent to the country’s Supreme Court, MLex has learned.

    It is understood that Apple lost its suit against the Korea Fair Trade Commission, or KFTC, at the Seoul High Court and is appealing the ruling to the Supreme Court.

    MLex previously reported that Apple Korea filed a suit in June at the Seoul High Court to challenge the KFTC’s practice of not revealing all the information it has collected against companies and withholding parts of its findings.

    By Choi Hyung-jo

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  • French retail food-price plans draw antitrust watchdog's criticism
    14 December 2018
    French plans to give farmers more power vis-à-vis large supermarket chains has come under harsh criticism from the country’s competition authority.

    The regulator has said the plans, which aim to give farmers more bargaining power, could be harmful to consumers.

    The government order, published yesterday, sets out two measures aimed at improving producers’ bargaining power with large distributors such as Carrefour and E.Leclerc.

    By Matthew Newman.

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  • EU's Bayer-Monsanto review factored in risk of 'common shareholders'
    14 December 2018
    Concerns over shareholdings across major agrochemical companies by BlackRock, State Street and other index funds factored into the European Commission's review of Bayer’s takeover of Monsanto, the published decision reveals today.

    The decision to approve the deal features an eight-page section on whether such common shareholdings might be limiting competition. But it concludes that the debate is “relatively recent and not yet entirely settled.”

    The findings build on the regulator’s 2016 decision to clear Dow Chemical’s merger with DuPont, in which an annex spent 21 pages assessing “the effects of common shareholding on market shares and concentration measures.”

    By Andrew Boyce.

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