Today, the German Bundesrat is expected to pass the amendment to the Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB). Professor Achim Wambach, president of ZEW Mannheim and member of the Monopolies Commission, comments on this matter:

“Germany is pressing ahead with this amendment – also referred to as the ‘GWB Digitalisation Act’ – at a time when antitrust proceedings against platform giants are underway in the USA and in the EU. The European Commission has just presented its own proposals for regulating Big Tech firms with its Digital Markets Act in December 2020.

In Germany, platform companies with market dominance are facing major changes: With the amendment, the legislator enables the Federal Cartel Office to order specific rules of conduct for companies with ‘outstanding cross-market importance for competition’. The German approach has a certain elegance. It avoids prohibitions per se such as those envisaged by the European Commission, which can have adverse effects on competition. Still, the amendment to the GWB allows for faster procedures so as not to slow down the digital economy. The practical experience gained in Germany can be used in the European legislative process. In the medium term, Germany and Europe should harmonise their regulations.”

Date

18.01.2021

Categories

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Phone: +49 0621 1235-133

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