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Week Recap 4

Christophe Carugati

25 Oct 2022

In this week's recap, French administrative agencies met, Amazon has a secretive algorithm that is potentially abusive (but Tinder is also doing the same), India fined Google, and the European Commission is already planning its first technical workshop on the DMA.

French administrative agencies met

French administrative agencies met to discuss the challenges posed by the digital economy. They said they are working on promoting concertation and synergies between them. Still, they are not going as far as creating a UK-like Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) that promotes cooperation and coordination between agencies to deal with digital issues. Perhaps it is because French people love their independence so much that they often want to stay independent, even if an enhanced form of cooperation could benefit all.

Amazon's secret algorithm (but it is not the only one... Tinder does it as well)

It could be the story of a Hollywood movie on Amazon Video prime. According to a one-billion-dollar class action lawsuit in the UK, Amazon allegedly has a secretive algorithm that promotes on the famous “buy box” its own offers and those of third-party sellers that use Amazon for logistics to the detriment of rival sellers on the e-commerce platform. At the same time, Europe is trying to fix a very similar issue. I am sure James Bond will intervene to discover the secret. He will probably find that Tinder is also using a secretive algorithm that promotes users that use Tinder Platinium to the detriment of other users that use the dating app for free. His secret charm is not enough to find a James Bond girl in modern times.

India fined Google

India is famous for its delicious spicy food. Now, it is also renowned for its very spicy Google Android decision. The same competition concerns as the Google Android antitrust cases in Russia, Turkey, Europe, and South Korea. But India imposed very spicy requirements on Google, some of which have the flavor of the new European Digital Markets Act (DMA).

DMA's first technical workshop

The DMA is a self-executing regulation where gatekeepers must show how they will comply with the rules. At least, this is how the Commission sold the law to policymakers. In practice, it is far, very far from being self-executing, raising lots of implementation issues. This is why the Commission is trying to solve them through technical workshops. The first one will occur in December to exchange on self-preferencing—A concept introduced with the landmark Google search (shopping) decision, but that is far from simple as some scholars pointed out that the practice may have pro and anti-competitive effects. The goal of the meeting is to exchange with stakeholders how gatekeepers should comply with the DMA. So, the stakeholders will dictate how gatekeepers should comply. I can already predict many regulatory captures, as some firms involved in the Google search (Shopping) case are already trying to do.

New on the website

You will find a tracker on section 19a German competition act, which allows the German competition authority to impose a list of don’ts on some large digital firms.

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