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Global Media and Communications Watch The International Legal Blog for the Tech, Media and Telecoms Industry

Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)

Posts by Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)
Posted in e-commerce, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Technology Photo of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)

Digital competition policy on the move: Price algorithms in the German Monopolies Commission’s spotlight – European Commission launches consultation process

Price algorithms are clearly the “talk of the town” in the European competition law community these days. Just last week, the German Monopolies Commission published a report in which it discusses potential anti-competitive effects of price algorithms and proposes far-reaching amendments to the competition law enforcement framework. Meanwhile, the European Commission has announced a consultation process with a view towards shaping competition policy in the era of digitisation. Price algorithms in the focus of European competition authorities Across Europe, competition authorities are currently putting a focus on algorithms. In recent

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), Policy & Regulation Photo of Falk SchoeningPhoto of Alastair ShawPhoto of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)Photo of Alberto BellanPhoto of Dina Jubrail

Webinar Recording: Digital Single Market 2018 – It is becoming real!

On Tuesday 14 November the Hogan Lovells DSM Taskforce (our dedicated pan-EU team of lawyers tracking the Commission’s DSM strategy) had its annual live meeting in Brussels to discuss the progress of the implementation of the DSM strategy and key forthcoming developments. The team held a webinar on the status of the strategy and what to expect in 2018 in the areas of platforms, e-commerce, the draft AVMS Directive, the copyright reforms, privacy and telecoms. If you missed it you can read the highlights below or watch the recorded webinar

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Technology Photo of Falk SchoeningPhoto of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)

Big Data and digital markets remain in the focus of competition authorities – German FCO continues to lead the way

On 6 October, the German Federal Cartel Office (“FCO”) launched its new series of papers on “Competition and Consumer Protection in the Digital Economy”. The first paper deals with “Big Data and Competition”. The same day, a “real-life example” of competition enforcement in Big Data became public. The EU Commission confirmed unannounced inspections in “a few Member States” concerning online access to bank customer’s account data by competing service providers. In the words of Andreas Mundt, president of the FCO “the special characteristics of digital markets have created new challenges for

Posted in Drones, Policy & Regulation Photo of Falk SchoeningPhoto of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)

Sky full of drones – Germany opens up for new drone opportunities as it introduces its new UAS Regulation

Germany has introduced a new “Regulation for the Operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems” (“Drone-Regulation“). On 7 April 2017, the new Drone-Regulation entered into force adapting national legislation to the risk-based approach of the European Union and setting the way for innovative technologies. However, the new rules also contain identification and qualification obligations as well as strict authorisation requirements for specific operations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”). Some aspects of Germany’s new UAS regulations parallel the Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA”) Small UAS Rule (Part 107) that went into effect in the

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Martin SuraPhoto of Christoph WünschmannPhoto of Falk SchoeningPhoto of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)

DSM Watch: Germany suggests ramping up regulation of Digital Platforms by establishing a “Digital Agency” with a robust antitrust mandate

Will Germany establish a “Digital Agency” to monitor compliance with competition law rules in digital markets? Will a German “Digital Antitrust Enforcer” become a role model for a European protectionist approach against American and Asian platform providers? The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy seems to see a pressing need for regulation in digital markets. The White Paper “Digital Platforms”, published on the 20 March 2017, provides an outlook on possible forms of digital regulatory policy in Germany and potentially also in Europe. Of particular interest from a

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), Internet, Policy & Regulation Photo of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)Photo of Falk SchoeningPhoto of Peter Watts

Fragmentation instead of level-playing field? How the German Government’s announced White Paper on digital platforms adds to regulatory uncertainty on topical issues of the digital economy after Brexit

Many digital platforms attract consumers and businesses on a global basis. It is a challenge for national regulators to enforce competition law and other regulatory provisions against such international players. Germany´s Federal Minister of Justice, Heiko Maas, argued in a similar way in an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt on 5 October 2016. He took a stand on the significant market shares of certain digital platforms questioning whether current competition law rules enable enforcers to sufficiently tackle current issues in the digital economy. Interestingly, despite calling for an EU-wide

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Photo of Eric ParochePhoto of Falk SchoeningPhoto of Martin SuraPhoto of Christoph WünschmannPhoto of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)

Big Data – Big Competition Issues? German and French antitrust regulators publish joint paper “Competition Law and Data”

Big data is no longer a term used only by the digital economy. Competition law agencies in Germany and France significantly ramp-up their enforcement tools in the light of technology-driven market changes. As regulators aim at being on par with market players dealing with big data, such companies need to carefully analyze whether the approach taken in the EU can affect any planned transactions or whether their business model contains any risks of being reviewed by the agencies. The German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office or FCO) and the French Autorité

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce Photo of Jan BlockxPhoto of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)Photo of Oliver WilsonPhoto of Christoph Wünschmann

DSM WATCH: Draft Proposal For Geo-Blocking Regulation Leaked

News site Politico this week leaked a draft proposal for an EU Regulation on addressing geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on place of residence or establishment, or nationality within the Single Market.  (And as a reminder – the phrase “geo-blocking” in this context refers to access limitations to websites generally rather than blocking audio-visual content – and indeed this is specifically excluded from the scope of the proposal (see below).) As we reported earlier (see here and here), this proposal was expected and follows from the e-commerce sector

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), Policy & Regulation Photo of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)Photo of Falk SchoeningPhoto of Charlie Hawes

DSM Watch: Commission presents measures to digitise European Industry

DSM Watch: Commission presents measures to digitise European Industry Today, the European Commission published its Communication on “Digitising European Industry – Reaping the full benefits of a Digital Single Market” together with several other Communications and Staff Working Documents. These documents set out a series of measures and proposals intended to reinforce the EU’s competitiveness in digital technologies and to ensure that every industry in Europe can fully benefit from digital innovations.

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), Policy & Regulation Photo of Falk SchoeningPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)

DSM Watch: Opposition growing to the regulation of online platforms

When the European Commission in its Communication on a Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe (DSM) of 6 May 2015 committed to assess the role of online platforms, questions were raised whether this was the start of a new regulation of platforms. In this context, on 24 September 2015 the Commission launched a public consultation seeking views to better understand the social and economic role of platforms, market trends, and the dynamics of platform-development before deciding how to move forward. However, regulation still is one of the possible options the

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce Photo of Falk SchoeningPhoto of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)

DSM Watch: Can manufacturers prevent resale of goods via third-party online platforms using selective distribution agreements? Uncertainty remains in Germany following recent decision of the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt

In its Communication on a Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe (DSM) of 6 May 2015, the European Commission committed to assess the role of online platforms. In this context, the Commission launched a sector inquiry into e-commerce (6 May 2015) in order to gather data on the functioning of e-commerce markets and to identify possible competition concerns. In addition, on 24 September 2015 the Commission launched a public consultation seeking views to better understand the social and economic role of platforms, market trends, and the dynamics of platform-development. Since