This paper – available here – reviews various court decisions adopted between September 2014 and 2016 that apply competition law to matters involving multisided markets. The paper is short, and the structure is quite simple: after summarizing the key differences between multisided markets (the author insists in calling them matchmakers) and traditional businesses, it reviews the aforementioned court decisions.

The article is quite short, and provides a succinct overview of these cases and their implications for antitrust analysis of matters involving multisided platforms. These include three decisions regarding payment cards, including the US Court of Appeals decision on American Express  and the European Court’s decisions in Groupement des Cartes Bancaires and MasterCard; the GoogleMaps decision by the Cour d’Appel de Paris; and the Telcent decision by China’s Supreme People’s Court.

The conclusion is that all these decisions recognize that platforms serve multiple interdependent groups of customers, and that the interactions between these groups matter for the substantive analysis of antitrust issues. On the other hand, the article does not address the fact that the matter of how to assess these interactions was subject to different approaches by the various courts. This is not to detract from the article – it’s not its objective to emphasise these differences, and fewer people have devoted more attention to how to apply competition law to multisided markets than the author – but I would suggest that how to approach these interactions is the more interesting question here.

Author Socials A weekly email with competition/antitrust updates. All opinions are mine

What do you think?

Note: Your email address will not be published