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

Falk Schoening

Posts by Falk Schoening
Posted in Policy & Regulation, Technology Falk Schoening

What blockchain can learn from the net neutrality debate: antitrust and regulatory aspects of “paid prioritization” for a nascent technology

First come, first served. That’s not the principle behind the clearance of Bitcoin transactions. Equally for other blockchain technology networks, the relevant factor to get a transaction on the next available block is not time, but often: money. “Paid prioritization” is a reality. Miners will first pick and clear those transactions which will most highly reward them.

Is this a … Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Technology Falk SchoeningChristian Ritz

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 Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation Falk SchoeningKay Jebelli

Sharing Economy: European Parliament call for EU level guidance on employment and social security questions

To regulate or not to regulate: This question becomes relevant for the sharing economy after last week’s European Parliament resolution calling for clear EU guidelines on the collaborative economy. The resolution is a response to the European Commission’s Communication on “A European agenda for the collaborative economy” from June 2016 which took a light or even non-regulation approach regarding … Continue Reading

Posted in Drones Falk Schoening

New EASA Consultation: Are Drone Pilots Heading for a Period of Regulatory Turbulence?

On 12 May 2017 the European Aviation Safety Agency (“EASA“) opened a consultation into sweeping new regulations on the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS” or drones) in European airspace. Individuals and companies that are interested in the future of UAS operations in the European Union (“EU”) should carefully review the Notice of Proposed … Continue Reading

Posted in Drones, Policy & Regulation Falk SchoeningChristian Ritz

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 … Continue Reading

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU) Martin SuraChristoph WünschmannFalk SchoeningChristian Ritz

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 … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation Falk SchoeningRod Freeman

Regulate Frankenstein: the European Parliament calls for new rules for robots

When a parliamentary report cites Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in its recitals and proposes new regulation for robots with artificial intelligence (“AI”), one cannot be sure whether the 19th or the 21st century has inspired the legislator. Last week, the European Parliament took a step to introduce new regulation of robots in Europe. Declaring that the EU needs to … Continue Reading

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU) Winston MaxwellFalk SchoeningDr. Nils RauerRod Freeman

DSM Watch: European Commission’s data package explores data ownership, localization, liability and portability, highlighting tensions with GDPR

On January 10, 2017, the European Commission released a Communication, a fact sheet, a working document and a public consultation relating to Europe’s “data economy”.   The fact sheet states that “data is a new type of economic asset”, which is essential for innovation and growth. The Commission’s objective is to remove “unjustified restrictions” and “legal uncertainties” in order … Continue Reading

Posted in Drones, Policy & Regulation Falk Schoening

The European Parliament pushes for an EU-wide regulation for UAS

The split of competences between the European Union (“EU”) and its Member States has been a point of friction in the setting out of the future European rules on unmanned aircraft system (“UAS”). In December 2015, the European Commission advocated in its Aviation Strategy for the need for a common regulatory framework across the EU to ensure a single … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Falk Schoening

BEREC stakeholder forum: Revisiting the scope of bundling in the EU

At the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)’s annual stakeholder forum in Brussels, bundling in the telecom sector came under the spotlight, and in particular some questions were aimed at whether “bundled” offers were legal.

On the occasion of the BEREC forum, we thought it useful to revisit European rules on bundling which are relevant both from a … Continue Reading

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), Internet, Policy & Regulation Christian RitzFalk SchoeningPeter 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 … Continue Reading

Posted in Technology Falk SchoeningKay Jebelli

European Commission eyes new European rules for Big Data and Competition law

Earlier today Margarethe Vestager, the European Competition Commissioner, delivered a speech about Big Data and Competition law. The Commissioner made several key points that emphasize the growing economic and competitive significance of data and data aggregation. More importantly, the Commissioner announces that she will propose a new EU Directive to ensure the consistent application of competition law on big … Continue Reading

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce Falk SchoeningPeter Citron

European Commission’s e-commerce sector inquiry – increasing antitrust heat

Online sales are not only attracting the attention of consumers and tech businesses, but also increased review by antitrust regulators. The European Commission yesterday published a detailed 290 page preliminary report on its e-commerce sector inquiry.

While commenting on the release of the report, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager stated that the report should be “a trigger for companies Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Eric ParocheFalk SchoeningMartin SuraChristoph WünschmannChristian Ritz

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 … Continue Reading

Posted in Policy & Regulation Falk SchoeningLogan Breed

Antitrust regulators emphasize importance of innovation for merger control assessment – Commission considering revision of EU merger control thresholds

Antitrust regulators around the globe reinforce the importance of innovation for the assessment of mergers and acquisitions.

The European Commission this month published a policy brief on the role of innovation in merger control within the European Union (EU) outlining the Commission’s approach to the assessment of innovation in the context of merger control. In addition, EU Commissioner Vestager in … Continue Reading

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), Policy & Regulation Christian RitzDr. Nils RauerFalk SchoeningCharlie 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 … Continue Reading

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), Policy & Regulation Falk SchoeningWinston MaxwellChristian Ritz

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 … Continue Reading

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce Falk SchoeningChristian Ritz

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, … Continue Reading

Posted in Drones Lourdes CatrainAjay KuntamukkalaFalk Schoening

Extended Export Control Rules for UAVs in the EU Enacted

The framework for the regulation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (“UAVs”) is currently intensely debated in the US, the EU and EU Member States. While the focus of this discussion relates to the operation of drones in a commercial and hobbyist environment, UAVs are also subject to export control regulation.

In a move to update its export control regulations, … Continue Reading

Posted in Drones Falk Schoening

The New EU Aviation Strategy: Take-off for the UAS Industry?

In the wake of Germany’s new proposed regulations for commercial and hobbyist UAS (drone) operators, announced last month, the European Commission (EC) earlier this week revealed a broad new strategy to ensure that the European aviation sector remains competitive and reaps the benefits of a fast-changing and developing global economy. The EC’s new Aviation Strategy is designed to generate growth … Continue Reading

Posted in Drones Falk Schoening

BREAKING: Germany Proposes New Regulations for Commercial and Hobbyist Unmanned Aircraft Operations

On 9 November, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure proposed new rules for commercial and hobbyist unmanned aircraft system (UAS), or drone operations. If implemented, the proposed rules will open the door to new UAS commercial opportunities in Europe’s largest economy.

Citing a lack of regulations to confront growing public safety concerns associated with the use and … Continue Reading