Two-minute summary of competition law issues around the world – August 2022

Sony PlayStation is being sued for £5bn in a UK class action over price gouging

Sony PlayStation is accused of abusing its dominant position by overcharging millions of gamers as well as developers and publishers for six years. Sony is alleged to have overcharged its products and services by charging a 30% commission on every digital game and add-on content sold through Sony’s console or PlayStation Store since August 2016. According to the lawsuit, the damage per individual is estimated. vary between £67 and £562.

Tidal wave for digital markets in Asia and Oceania

  • In line with recent trends, competition authorities around the world are taking the lead in keeping up with the rapid developments in the digital economy. In a case that reminds us of Google’s woes with publishers in France, the New Zealand Commerce Commission decided to allow news publishers to bargain collectively with Meta and Google over the display of news content .
  • Meanwhile, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched an investigation into social media services, focusing in particular on the provision of such services and advertising on social media platforms. The Australian authority noted that this is the sixth installment of its five-year survey of digital platform services.
  • In Asia, the Korea Communications Commission has launched an investigation into whether Google, Apple and One Store broke the law by banning third-party payment providers from accessing their app marketplaces. The authority will carry out its assessment to decide whether it has imposed a specific payment method on users.
  • Korean authorities did not stop there, as the public prosecutor raided Naver, an e-commerce platform, over criminal allegations that it abused its dominant position by preventing real estate information providers from selling data to its main competitor. It was noted that the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) fined Naver EUR 776,000 in September 2020 for including exclusivity clauses in its contracts with real estate content providers, thereby preventing them from working with competing platforms. KFTC filed a criminal complaint with prosecutors in November 2021, as requested by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.

LPG cartel in Brazil

The Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) has concluded its investigation into allegations of price fixing and market sharing among LPG distributors. The cartel investigation was opened by state prosecutors in 2009, and CADE launched its investigation in 2016 after obtaining information seized during dawn raids conducted by police in 2010. It should be noted that while CADE fined three companies more than EUR 122 million, six other companies had already reached an agreement with the authority after the opening of the investigation. In addition, 11 people were sanctioned by the authority for their role in the cartel.

US DoJ and Bundeskartellamt concerns abort $987m deal with MAERSK

Container giant China International Marine Containers has backed out of plans to acquire refrigerated box manufacturer Maersk Container Industry following plans by the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division to file a lawsuit over block the proposed acquisition. The DoJ, together with Germany’s Bundeskartellamt, believes the deal would have generated excessive market concentration, potentially leading to higher prices, lower quality and poorer innovation, as it would put 90% of global container production refrigerators in the hands of the Chinese state. – controlled companies.

WhatsApp could be investigated in India over its privacy policy

The Delhi High Court has ruled that WhatsApp should be fully investigated for abuse of dominance by India’s Competition Commission (ICC) over 2021 changes to the app’s privacy policy. instant messaging. The ICC argued that the new privacy policy would allow WhatsApp to collect excessive amounts of consumer data, which could result in the use and sharing of data in an anti-competitive context. WhatsApp, together with its parent company, Meta, filed a challenge to dismiss the CCI investigation.

About Marjorie C. Hudson

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