Digital Platforms and the New 19a Tool in the German Competition Act

CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series 2021, final version JECLAP 12 (2021) 513-528

26 Pages Posted: 5 May 2021 Last revised: 3 Nov 2021

See all articles by Jens-Uwe Franck

Jens-Uwe Franck

University of Mannheim - Department of Law

Martin Peitz

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2, 2021

Abstract

In this article we present and critically evaluate the newly introduced section 19a of the German Competition Act. The provision applies to operators of two-sided platforms and networks that the Bundeskartellamt classifies as being of ‘paramount significance for competition across markets’. Using examples of previous abuse cases, we discuss which firms may eventually be the addressees of the new instrument. We analyse the list of prohibitable practices and point to normative uncertainties as regards the assessment of platform activities. We discuss the merits of the abridged judicial review. Finally, we consider the pro-spect of continuing fragmentation in the legal treatment of digital platforms in the internal market and assess the interaction with the Digital Markets Act as proposed by the European Commission.

Keywords: competition law, abuse of market power, digital platforms, gate-keeper, Big Tech

JEL Classification: K21

Suggested Citation

Franck, Jens-Uwe and Peitz, Martin, Digital Platforms and the New 19a Tool in the German Competition Act (May 2, 2021). CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series 2021, final version JECLAP 12 (2021) 513-528, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3838759 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3838759

Jens-Uwe Franck

University of Mannheim - Department of Law ( email )

Schloss Westflügel
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Martin Peitz (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany
+49 621 181-1835 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://peitz.vwl.uni-mannheim.de/

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