On 20 September 2016, the European Commission fined Altstoff Recycling Austria (“ARA”) under Article 102 TFEU for abusing its dominant position in the Austrian waste management...28 September 2016
Antitrust in WeChat times
WeChat is a very popular messaging app in China, similar to WhatsApp and Facebook Messaging in other parts of the world. It has social networking, gaming, e-commerce and mobile payment functionalities. The app plays an increasingly important role in social – and business – interactions in China. As a result, it is not surprising that WeChat has also acquired relevance in antitrust terms.
According to a press release by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) – one of China's three antitrust agencies – on April 13, 2016, the participants in a car inspection cartel in Shaanxi Province exchanged information about their price fixing plans in a WeChat group chat, before holding face-to-face cartel meetings.
Separately, in a 2016 article in its official magazine, China Price Supervision and Anti-Monopoly, NDRC confirmed it is using WeChat to collect information on the latest antitrust cases – especially those in foreign jurisdictions – as one of the mechanisms to monitor market developments and – potentially – probably start antitrust investigations.
Among WeChat's various features, the "WeChat official account" essentially works like a blog allowing a company or an individual to post articles. Many law firms, academic institutions and individuals are now running WeChat official accounts, posting own alerts or reports from third-party sources – including several antitrust-related blogs.
In short, WeChat is becoming an important platform for exchange of information, including in relation to antitrust, of which companies should be aware.
Liability for anti-competitive behaviour by your employees and outside contractors: when you are off the hook and when you are not
In its recent VM Remonts judgment, the...02 August 2016